Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Joe Vandello

Joe Vandello

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Most of my research deals with the theme of conflict. I am currently pursuing three largely independent lines of research:

(1) Cultural and Gender Influences on Aggression.
In one program, I am exploring how cultural norms and ideologies influence male violence. Specifically, I have been examining how norms about honor shape the dynamics of male-female relationships and contribute to domestic violence; and in turn, how cultures perpetuate and reinforce these ideologies.

(2) The Psychology of the Underdog.
I have recently begun exploring perceptions of disadvantaged individuals and groups. Support for underdogs (those at a competitive disadvantage and expected to lose) appears to be quite widespread, and perhaps universal across cultures. While support for underdogs may not be surprising, the psychological appeal is not obvious, and in fact, would seem to contradict classic social psychology theories that suggest an important part of our self-esteem derives from identifying with successful, high status groups.

(3) Colorblindness and Political Correctness.
In a third program of research, I have begun to look at how people experience race and deal with the moral uncertainty that results from actions that could be construed as racist. For instance, I have looked at how people make decisions when ascribed social categories such as race or gender are involved, and how they justify such decisions. Current studies examine how people resolve the anxiety created by making salient discrepancies between one’s egalitarian values and one’s less-than-ideal current realities.

Primary Interests:

  • Aggression, Conflict, Peace
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Ethics and Morality
  • Gender Psychology
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping

Journal Articles:

Other Publications:

  • Cohen, D., & Vandello, J. A. (2004). The paradox of politeness. In M. Anderson (Ed.), Cultural shaping of violence. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press.
  • Cohen, D., & Vandello, J. A. (2001). Honor and "faking" honorability. In R. Nesse (Ed.), Evolution and the capacity for commitment (pp. 163-185). New York: Russell Sage.
  • Vandello, J. A., & Cohen, D. (2004). When believing is seeing: Sustaining norms of violence in cultures of honor. In M. Schaller & C. Crandall (Eds.), The psychological foundations of culture (pp. 281-304). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Courses Taught:

  • Advanced Social Psychology
  • Psychology of Gender
  • Social Psychology

Joe Vandello
Department of Psychology
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Avenue, PCD4118G
Tampa, Florida 33620-7200
United States of America

  • Phone: (813) 974-0362
  • Fax: (813) 974-4617

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