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Personality and Social Norms Research Lab

The Personality & Social Norms (PSN) Lab examines topics involving socially normative attitudes and beliefs. Our projects are inspired by feminist and intersectionality theories as well as scholarship on intergroup contact, personality, and prejudice. Most of our projects focus on how personality and social demographic variables relate to attitudes about gender and sexual orientation.

As a lab team, we also share interests in stigma, marginalization, and minority stress. Commonly examined constructs include tolerance of ambiguity, heteronormativity, sexual and gender minority stress, and outcomes such as healthcare provider cultural competence, mental health, and life satisfaction. 

PSN lab members commonly develop and propose their dissertation project by the end of their third doctoral training year and often contribute to new data collection, data analysis projects, conference proposals, and/or preparation of empirical manuscripts for publication beginning in their second doctoral training year. 

Current and Potential New Projects:

  • Social justice and feminist-informed assessment of demographic variables
  • Trans and gender nonbinary competencies among healthcare providers
  • Feminist attitudes, identities, and psychological well-being
  • Mindfulness and personality-based prejudice reduction studies
  • Intersecting identities as they relate to experiences of marginalization, minority stress, and socially normative attitudes
Desirable characteristics for new lab members include strong commitments to cultural humility and the examination of prejudice as well as demonstrated interest in:
  • Contributing to literature reviews, new study development, and IRB proposal development – e.g., support of advanced students’ dissertation projects
  • Collaborating as co-authors on publications and posters
  • Developing statistical skills and confidence
  • Engaging in meaningful reflection and ongoing professional growth

We are an active, collaborative research lab. We generally meet weekly throughout the academic year to discuss research projects as well as broader topics related to professional development.

How to Apply

Current PAU PhD students wishing to apply to work with PSN and Dr. Habarth should:

  • Submit a cover letter
  • CV listing 3 references
  • Unofficial transcript

Email to Dr. Jan Habarth at: jhabarth@paloaltou.edu. 

Would you like to connect with a current research lab member?

The following students would be glad to hear from you!

Selected publications (*denotes student/mentee):

Habarth, J., Barkin, A.*, Moore, L.*, & Trafalis, S. (Under Review). Paradigms of marginality: Predicting legitimizing beliefs about bisexuality. 

Lee, H.*, Tomita, K.*, Habarth, J., Operario, D., Yi, H., Choo., S., & Kim, S. (2020). Internalized transphobia and mental health among transgender adults: A nationwide, cross-sectional survey in South Korea. International Journal of Transgender Health, 21(2), 182-193.

Habarth, J., Makhoulian, S.*, Nelson, J.*, Todd, C.*, & Trafalis, S. (2019). Beyond simple differences: Moderators of gender differences in heteronormativity. Journal of Homosexuality, 67(6), 740-767.

Habarth, J. (2015). Development of the Heteronormative Attitudes and Beliefs Scale. Psychology & Sexuality, 6(2), 166-188. 

Testa, R. J., Habarth, J., Peta, J., Balsam, K., & Bockting, W. (2015). Development of the Gender Minority Stress and Resilience Measure. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2(1), 65-77. 

Bussolari, C., Habarth, J., Phillips, S.*, Katz, R., & Packman, W. (2018). Self-compassion, social constraints, and psychosocial outcomes in a recently bereaved pet loss sample. OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying, 82(3), 389-408. 

Garneau-Fournier, J.*, Turchik, J., & Habarth, J. (2018). Factors associated with sexual dysfunction symptoms among veterans who have experienced military sexual trauma. International Journal of Sexual Health, 30, 28-41. 

Selected conference presentations (*denotes student/mentee):

(2022, June) Habarth, J.M., Eaton, A., Tormala, T., Rios, D., & McConnell, E. Who is counting whom? Toward inclusive, valid demographic measurement strategies. [Interactive discussion proposal accepted for presentation]. Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Summer Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

(2022, Aug) Cameron, J.* & Habarth, J.M. Adult attitudes about transgender and gender expansive youth. [Poster proposal accepted for presentation]. American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Minneapolis, MN. 

(2022, Aug) Van de Weert, S.* & Habarth, J.M. Self-compassion, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating. [Poster proposal accepted for presentation]. American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Minneapolis, MN.

(2021, Aug) Short, T.*, Wallach, L.N.*, Bricker, N.L.*, & Habarth, J.M. Challenging the status quo: Feminist and decolonial considerations in graduate research pedagogy. In J.M. Habarth (Chair), Decolonizing the syllabus: Lessons learned from a Fall 2020 graduate research methods course [Symposium]. American Psychological Association Annual Convention, San Diego, CA.  

Selected conference presentations - continued (*denotes student/mentee):

(2021, Aug) Velez, C.V.*, Hart, M.G.*, Wallach, L.N.*, Robinson, P.R., & Habarth, J.M. Where do we go from here? Lessons learned from decolonial, feminist research methods instruction. In J.M. Habarth (Chair), Decolonizing the syllabus: Lessons learned from a Fall 2020 graduate research methods course [Symposium]. American Psychological Association Annual Convention, San Diego, CA. 

(2021, Aug) Wallach, L.N.*, Oryall, D.O.*, Bricker, N.L.*, Robinson, P.R., & Habarth, J.M. Talking the talk and walking the walk: Incorporating decoloniality into a
doctoral research methods course. In J.M. Habarth (Chair), Decolonizing the syllabus: Lessons learned from a Fall 2020 graduate research methods course [Symposium]. American Psychological Association Annual Convention, San Deigo, CA.
 
(2020, Aug) Van Trease, C.*, Habarth, J., Angelo, K.*, & Sandoval, M.* Predicting postincarceration stigma in a vignette study: Do demographics matter? [Poster]. American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington, D.C.
 
(2020, Mar) Angelo, K.*, Habarth, J., Van Trease, C.*, & Sandoval, M.* Post-incarceration government assistance for transgender people: What predicts endorsement? [Poster]. American Psychology Law Society Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA. 
 
(2019, Aug) Habarth, J. Demographic moderators of relationships between feminism and psychological well-being in a diverse U.S. sample. In Ellois, V. (Chair). Political world changes and impact on vulnerable populations. [Symposium]. American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Chicago, IL.
 
(2019, Aug) Barkin, A.*, & Habarth, J. Feminism and depressive symptoms among sexually diverse Asian American women. [Poster]. American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Chicago, IL
 
(2019, Jan) Habarth, J., Kelly, S., & Johnson, A.* (Chair). From theory to practice: Toward culturally responsive training in graduate clinical education. [Symposium]. National Multicultural Conference and Summit, Denver, CO.
 
(2018, Aug) Beltran, M.*, Wolff, M.*, & Habarth, J. Feminism and psychological well-being among U.S. Latina women. [Poster]. American Psychological Association Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA. 
 
(2017, Aug) Mahmoodhi, V.*, & Habarth, J. Moderating effects of gender role attitudes on the relationships between Islamic religiosity and psychological wellbeing in a sample of U.S. Muslim postpartum women. [Poster]. American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington, D.C. 
 
(2017, Aug) Leslie, A., Ryu, D.*, & Habarth, J. Content validity analysis of a healthcare provider TGNC competency scale. [Poster]. American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington, D.C. 
 
(2016, Aug) Todd, C.*, Sandoval, M.*, & Habarth, J. Heteronormativity and associated predictors in a diverse internet sample. [Poster]. American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Denver, CO.