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Personality and Social Norms Research Group

Habarth Research Group: Personality and Social Norms

Janice Habarth, Ph.D.


This research lab is focused on examining individual difference and social context variables as they relate to interpersonal and intrapersonal functioning. This work is inspired by several areas of scholarship, including intersectionality, gender and women’s studies, personality psychology, and the scientific study of sexual orientation and gender diversity. Most of our projects focus on how personality and social demographic variables can help us to better understand and predict attitudes about gender and sexual orientation. We also have interests in how experiences of marginalization and empowerment relate to socially normative expectations, particularly for people with sexual and gender minority identities. Common constructs across different studies in our group include tolerance of ambiguity, openness to experience, heteronormative attitudes and beliefs, sexual minority status, gender roles, gender minority status, and a range of outcomes associated with these constructs, including couple functioning, mental health, and life satisfaction.

Current research lab members have presented at national conferences and are contributing towards the development of manuscripts under review for publication. Recent topics have included: 1) relationship satisfaction and heteronormativity among same-sex and heterosexual sex couples; 2) attitudes about sexual fluidity and bisexuality; and 3) attitudes about transgender and wrongfully convicted populations in forensic settings.

New members of this research lab in the coming year will be contributing to new data collection and data analysis projects and may also contribute to further analysis of existing datasets. Possible projects over the next few years include:

    1) Predicting heteronormative attitudes and beliefs in a diverse Internet sample
    2) Feminist identity and attitudes related to psychological well-being
    3) Heteronormative attitudes and beliefs among mental health and/or healthcare providers; and
    4) Intersecting identities as they relate to experiences of marginalization, minority stress, and socially normative attitudes

We are currently seeking three new students for the upcoming year. We are seeking students who are interested in:

    • contributing to ongoing research on attitudes about sexual orientation and gender
    • supporting new data collection efforts, including senior student dissertations
    • conducting literature reviews to support new study and IRB proposal development
    • contributing to publications and posters
    • developing skills and confidence regarding statistical analysis

Each student should be prepared to work about 10 hours per week during the second year in the program. For example, I encourage incoming students to serve as co-authors on a poster proposal by the end of their first research year with us. Students should be prepared to read and review articles on a weekly basis and discuss how the literature relates to new projects under development. We are an active, collaborative research group. We meet weekly to discuss research projects as well as broader topics related to professional development.





1791 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304

Phone: (800) 818-6136 Fax: (650) 433-3888





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