Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Oscar Ybarra

Oscar Ybarra

Oscar Ybarra is Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan and Faculty Associate at the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Institute for Social Research, Faculty Associate at the Center for Culture, Mind & the Brain, and Faculty Associate in Organizational Studies. He received his Ph.D. in social psychology from New Mexico State University in 1996. He then took his current post at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Ybarra’s research revolves around the social underpinnings of cognition and intelligence, how people navigate their web of relations with others, and how people balance connecting socially with the need to pursue and protect other valued goals.

Dr. Ybarra’s research has been published in the top journals in the field, and his work on social judgment has been used in presentations before congressional hearings on aging and fraud. His work on social interaction and mental exercising has received much media attention across the globe, including, India, China, France, Spain, Italy, UK, Argentina, Australia, Korea, Iran, and many outlets in the United States such as Forbes, the New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, LA Times, and the Washington Post.

Primary Interests:

  • Aggression, Conflict, Peace
  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Causal Attribution
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Person Perception
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

Journal Articles:

  • Rios Morrison, K., Fast, N., & Ybarra, O. (2009). Group status, perceptions of threat, and support for social inequality. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 201-210.
  • Rios Morrison, K., & Ybarra, O. (2009). Symbolic threat and social dominance among liberals and conservatives: SDO reflects conformity to political values. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39, 1039-1052.
  • Sanchez-Burks, J., Neuman, E. J., Ybarra, O., Kopelman, S., Park, H., & Goh, K. (2008). American optimism about the consequences of workgroup conflict. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 1, 53-76.
  • Ybarra, O., Burnstein, E., Winkielman, P., Keller, M. C., Manis, M., Chan, E., & Rodriguez, J. (2008). Mental exercising through simple socializing: Social interaction promotes general cognitive functioning. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 248-259.
  • Ybarra, O., Chan, E., Park, H., Burnstein, E., Monin, B., & Stanik, C. (2008). Life’s recurring challenges and the fundamental dimensions: An integration and its implications for cultural differences and similarities. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 1083-1092.
  • Ybarra, O., Keller, M. C., Chan, E., Garcia, S. M., Sanchez-Burks, J., Rios Morrison, K., & Baron, A. S. (in press). Being unpredictable: Friend or foe matters. Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Other Publications:

  • Stephan, W. G., Ybarra, O., & Rios Morrison, K. (2009). Intergroup threat theory. To be published in T. Nelson (Ed.), Handbook of prejudice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Ybarra, O., Rees, L., Kross, E., & Sanchez-Burks, J. (in press). Social-emotional intelligence: A key to creating positive organizations. To appear in K. Cameron & G. Spreitzer (Eds.), Handbook of positive organizational scholarship.

Courses Taught:

  • Attitudes and Social Judgment
  • Conflict and Negotiation
  • Intelligence, Creativity, & Innovation
  • Intelligence, Foolishness, and Strategic Self-Control
  • Socia Psychology
  • Succeeding in College & Beyond: The Pursuit of Valued Goals

Oscar Ybarra
Department of Psychology
University of Michigan
530 Church Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1043
United States of America

  • Phone: (734) 763-3156

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