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SPARQ Research Affiliates

SPARQ’s research affiliates are leading scholars in psychology and other fields that are thought-partners of the center and project collaborators.


Jennifer Aaker

Jennifer Aaker, Ph.D., is General Atlantic Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her research focuses on the psychology of time, money, and happiness - specifically how people choose to spend their time and money and how those choices drive lasting happiness. She also co-authored the award-winning book The Dragonfly Effect.

Jeremy Bailenson

Jeremy Bailenson, Ph.D., is Thomas More Storke Professor of Communication and Director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford. He studies the psychology of virtual and augmented reality - in particular, how virtual experiences lead to changes in perceptions of self and others. He is the author of Experience on Demand. Dr. Bailenson collaborates with SPARQ on Criminal Justice projects.

Sarah Billington

Sarah Billington, Ph.D., is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford. She studies sustainable, durable construction materials, their application to structures and construction, and their impact on wellbeing when incorporated into building design. Dr. Billington collaborates with SPARQ on the Healthy Spaces project, which she co-directs.

Geoff Cohen

Geoffrey Cohen, Ph.D., is James G. March Professor in Education and Business and Professor of Psychology at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. He studies how people maintain and protect their identities, and then uses that knowledge to design interventions that help close racial and gender achievement gaps in education. Dr. Cohen co-directs SPARQ’s Be the Donor project.

Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck, Ph.D., is Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford. Her work examines the self-conceptions people use to structure the self and guide their behavior. Her bestselling book Mindset documents how adopting a “growth mindset” and understanding people as capable of change and growth can drive improvements in education, business, parenting, and relationships.

James Gross

James Gross, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at Stanford. He is a leading researcher in the areas of emotion and emotion regulation. He is a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education and the Director of the Stanford Psychology One Teaching Program.

Dan Jurafsky

Dan Jurafsky, Ph.D., is Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor in Humanities, Professor and Chair of Linguistics, and Professor of Computer Science at Stanford. He studies natural language processing and its application to the cognitive and social sciences. He is also the author of the award-winning book The Language of Food. Dr. Jurafsky collaborates with SPARQ on Criminal Justice projects.

Ari Kelman

Ari Kelman, Ph.D., is Jim Joseph Professor in Education and Jewish Studies at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. His research focuses on the ways that people cultivate deep commitments and learn religion across domains including schools, congregations, museums, camps, media, and online. Dr. Kelman directs SPARQ's Immersive Cultural Experiences project.

James Landay

James Landay, Ph.D., is Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan Professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford. He specializes in human-computer interaction (HCI). His research interests include technology to support behavior change, demonstrational interfaces, mobile and ubiquitous computing, and user interface design tools. Dr. Landay collaborates with SPARQ on the Healthy Spaces project, which he co-directs.

Rob MacCoun

Robert MacCoun, Ph.D., is James and Patricia Kowal Professor of Law and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford. He is a social psychologist and public policy analyst who studies on a variety of topics, including illicit drug use, drug policy, judgment and decision-making, citizens’ assessments of fairness in the courts, social influence processes, and bias in the use and interpretation of research evidence by scientists, journalists and citizens.

Dale Miller

Dale Miller, Ph.D., is Class of 1968/Ed Zschau Professor and Professor of Psychology at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. His research explores the impact of social norms on behavior, the role that justice considerations play in individual and organizational decisions, and the conditions under which individuals and organizations abandon one course of action to pursue another.

Benoit Monin

Benoît Monin, Ph.D., is Bowen H. and Janice Arthur McCoy Professor of Ethics, Psychology, and Leadership and Professor of Psychology at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. His research investigates the interplay between self-image and morality - for example, when individuals behave unethically, and how they live with it; the consequences of high or low moral self-confidence; the meaning and role of morality in everyday life; and what empirical psychology can contribute to ethics. Dr. Monin collaborates with SPARQ on Criminal Justice projects.

Paula Moya

Paula Moya, Ph.D., is Danily C. and Laura Louise Bell Professor of the Humanities and Professor of English at Stanford. Her teaching and research focuses on twentieth-century and early twenty-first century literary studies, feminist theory, critical theory, narrative theory, American cultural studies, interdisciplinary approaches to race and ethnicity, and Chicanx and U.S. Latinx studies. Dr. Moya collaborates with SPARQ on the RaceWorks project.

L. Taylor Phillips

L. Taylor Phillips, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Management at New York University Stern School of Business. Her research investigates how people think about and respond to inequality, hierarchy, and privilege, and how their beliefs about race and diversity impact behaviors and perceptions during group interactions. She earned her Ph.D. in organizational behavior at Stanford. Dr. Phillips co-directs SPARQ’s Be the Donor project.

Hayagreeva Rao

Hayagreeva Rao, Ph.D., is the Atholl McBean Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He studies collective action within organizations and in markets. His research and by implication, his teaching, revolves around scaling up mobilization, innovation, and talent in organizations.

Steven Roberts

Steven Roberts, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford. His work bridges developmental and social psychology to examine some of the early emerging factors that contribute to social bias. His research focuses on concepts of race, group norms, and social essentialism, and he is particularly interested in how these concepts develop across diverse samples.

Lee Ross

Lee Ross, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology and co-founder of the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation at Stanford. He studies the psychological biases that drive interpersonal and intergroup conflict. He has applied his findings in diplomacy and public peace processes in the Middle East, the Caucuses, and Northern Ireland, as well as in discussions about global warming, health care, social security choices, and the academic challenges facing minority students and women in science.

Claude Steele

Claude Steele, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. He is best known for his work on stereotype threat and its application to minority student academic performance. He has served in several major academic leadership positions as the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at UC Berkeley, the I. James Quillen Dean for the School of Education at Stanford University, and as the 21st Provost of Columbia University. Dr. Steele is also the author of Whistling Vivaldi.Dr. Steele collaborates with SPARQ on the Building Trust project.

Robert Sutton

Robert Sutton, Ph.D., is Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford. His work focuses on evidence-based management, the links (and gaps) between managerial knowledge and organizational action, innovation, and organizational performance.

Jeanne Tsai

Jeanne Tsai, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at Stanford. She researches how cultural ideas and practices shape our emotions, and the implications for mental health, decision-making, and person perception. She has applied research in how cultural differences in affect expression and perception may influence workplace evaluations.

Greg Walton

Gregory Walton, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychology at Stanford. His work examines the nature of self and identity, often in the context of academic motivation and achievement. He studies the power of "wise interventions" to address persistent social problems - especially how to raise achievement for minority students in education.

Robb Willer

Robb Willer, Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology at Stanford. He studies politics, morality, cooperation, and status. His political research has investigated various topics, including economic inequality, racial prejudice, masculine overcompensation and Americans' views of climate change.

Jamil Zaki

Jamil Zaki, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychology. He studies emotions in social contexts - in particular, why, when, and how people empathize with each other, and the effects that empathy has on social behaviors such as altruism. His book, The War for Kindness, explains how leveraging psychological insights may improve the way people give, receive, and benefit from empathy.