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Dolores Albarracin

Division: Social-Personality

Professor of Psychology

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Biography

Dolores Albarracín, Ph.D., received doctoral degrees in social and clinical psychology, and has been a professor of psychology at the University of Florida and professor of communication and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Albarracín specializes in attitudes and persuasion, the intention-behavior relation, goals, predicting general activity patterns, predicting and changing health risk behaviors, and reviewing the effects of behavioral and clinical treatments in various settings (e.g., through meta-analysis and clinical trials). She is the recipient of two Scientist Development Awards from the National Institute of Mental Health and has published her work in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, Health Psychology, Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology, and Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, among others. She co-edited two books, including the Handbook of Attitudes, which has become a source of reference with national and international reach. Dr. Albarracin was a chartered member of the NIH (National Institutes of Health) review panel on Social Psychology and Individual Difference Processes, is currently a chartered member of the NIH panel on Behavioral and Social Processes in HIV, and serves on national and international committees as well as a number of editorial boards. She is a fellow of the Society for Experimental Social
Psychology, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science. Dr. Albarracín is currently Editor of Psychological Bulletin.

Research Description

Questions that guide my current research include:
1. How can we persuade others to engage in socially beneficial behaviors? Under what conditions do changes in attitudes predict behavior? How do attitudes change over time, and what role does memory play (e.g., sleeper effects)? When do we seek out information that is likely to confirm vs. challenge prior attitudes? How do attitudes become automatic and what brain activity supports this automation?
2. How is action structured and socially conditioned? Do action goals promote changes in attitudes and behavioral routines? Do people engage in behavior for the sake of being active, and what are the potential consequences of this tendency in the context of psychopathology (e.g., ADHD, bipolar disorder)? What are the brain functional patterns underlying these tendencies? Do these tendencies vary across cultures?
3. Does the grammatic and syntactic structure of our thoughts influence our overt behavior? Under what conditions do randomly strung thoughts acquire coherence?
4. How can we use the psychology of social cognition, attitudes, and motivation for health promotion? What types of campaigns and interventions work for which ethnic and gender groups?

For PDF copies of publications, see:
http://socialactionlab.wix.com/albarracin#!publications/cu4k

Education

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Courses

  • Psych 352
  • Psych 552
  • Psych 558
  • Psych 593