Dana Carney, Professor

Closed (1) Self-Control and Status; Politics, Race, and Political Correctness; Socioeconomic Status and World View

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

Self-Control and Status

►write to: Michael Rosenblum (michael.rosenblum@berkeley.edu)

Do expressions of self-control in emotion, body movements, cognition, or physiological needs (such as hunger, thirst, and sex drive) lead to or signal status? Do members of various socioeconomic brackets interpret the same self-control behaviors differently? We are hoping to gain insight into these questions by conducting a number of experiments in a variety of settings. Students who work on this project will receive training in how to design and conduct many aspects of the experimental process. I am looking for at least 1 RA to help with this project.

Politics, Race, and Political Correctness

In another set of projects, we are exploring perceptions of political correctness and how to bring together inter-racial coalitions using shared public policy objectives. Students who work on these projects will receive training in how to design and conduct many aspects of the experimental process. I am looking for at least 1 RA to help with this project.

Socioeconomic Status and Worldview

In this project we are exploring when and how one's socioeconomic status (SES) shapes an individual's worldview. We are seeking to better understand when and why individuals from different SES backgrounds interpret the same behaviors differently, and how the same behaviors taken by members of different SES backgrounds are viewed differently. Students who work on this project will receive training in how to design and conduct many aspects of the experimental process. I am looking for at least 1 RA to help with this project.

You will gain experience in nearly all aspects of the research process, including theoretical/literature review, laboratory protocol design, data collection, and questionnaire quality control. In doing so, you’ll gain exposure to software programs and equipment commonly used in psychological research.

The primary mentor for PROJECT 1 is Mike Rosenblum, a PhD student in Haas working with Professor Carney.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Michael Rosenblum, Graduate Student

Qualifications: You should have a desire to pursue graduate school in Psychology. We are also looking for students enthused about human behavior research, open to taking on a variety of tasks, and flexible in dealing with unexpected research setbacks. Lab positions for this project will have flexible hours, depending on what is needed at the time. At minimum you will need to commit 5 hours a week to lab, although we much prefer students who can come in 9-10 hours per week.

Weekly Hours: 9-11 hrs

Closed (2) Empathy, Power and Status, Prejudice, Workplace Phenomena, and Non Verbal Behavior

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

***These are topics for potential projects to be started in the Spring***

►write to: Isaac Raymundo (iraymundo@berkeley.edu)


Understanding and sharing emotional states with others is key for developing relationships. As result, we hope to better understand what is important in situations of empathy to help make those connections stronger and last longer, and what factors influence the outcomes of empathy.

Power and Status:

Broadly, we aim to learn more about how high power and low power individuals are affected differently in a variety of social situations.


What makes people prejudice? How can we minimize people's prejudices? These are topics we hope to learn more about through a variety of different research projects.

Workplace Phenomena:

We hope to gain a deeper understanding of common practices in organizations and how to make them more effective and practical.

Nonverbal behavior:

We aim to learn more about nonverbal behavior in situations involving power and status, race, prejudice, and empathetic behavior through behaviorally coding videos and photographs. This is work with a number of colleagues and students at Berkeley and elsewhere. We are looking for RAs who can commit about 10 hours a week. This is working directly with the lab managers,
Isaac Raymundo and Sarah de la Vega, and Professor Dana Carney.

Research assistants working with the lab managers may also be assigned to work on different projects not listed above for other graduate students and Dr. Carney.

Students will assist in aspects of managing, running, and organizing research experiments, such as helping with literature reviews, data collection, and coding behaviors through videos and photographs. There may be opportunities to help with grant-writing, and there will likely be a lot of data collection this term both running human subjects and coding videotapes and photos. There will also be the opportunity to assist in data analysis if interested.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Isaac Raymundo , Staff Researcher

Qualifications: REQUIRED: Ideal research assistants are willing to work about 10 hours a week. Sometimes this might mean coming into the RA office to do the work; other times you can do it in the computer lab or at home. Most of the time will be running research subjects, or behaviorally coding videos and pictures. Previous research experience is desirable but not essential – particularly in social psychology. Proficiency with Excel and knowledge of how to use SPSS or R are both pluses as are special skills in programming, video editing, website making, and photoshop and photography. We expect 9 hour a week minimum requirement.

Weekly Hours: 9-11 hrs

Related website: http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/dana_carney/

Closed (3) Classical Conditioning and Behavioral Nudges

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

Write to Sarah de la Vega (sadelavega@berkeley.edu)

This is a study on behavioral nudges, where we attempt to change people behaviors using classical conditioning techniques to see if we can change their preferences over time to live a healthier lifestyle.

We are specifically looking for four people - one person for each of the following availability, starting Wednesday 2/6 and ending Friday 3/8:

Every Wednesday 12PM - 6PM
Every Wednesday 12PM - 3PM
Every Wednesday 3PM - 6PM
Every Thursday 12PM - 6PM

This availability will be to help set up, run, and clean up a study on classical conditioning nudges. If recruited you will be trained how to run this study as an experimenter. Other small and more flexible tasks may arise outside of these times/dates but the availabilities above are the most important needs we have at the moment. Preference will be given to those who have the whole 12PM-6PM slot availability, and who are available for a two semester, 9-11 hour per week commitment. Once this study is done we may ask you to help out with other studies in the lab that deal with power and status, prejudice, workplace phenomena, and nonverbal behavior coding.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Sarah de la Vega and Isaac Raymundo, Staff Researcher

Weekly Hours: 9-11 hrs

Closed (4) Thin Slices; Truth and Lies; Groups; Narcissism

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

► write to: Daniel Stein (daniel_stein@berkeley.edu)

Thin Slices
In brief online or face-to-face interactions, people constantly make judgments about others’
behaviors, attitudes, and motivations. For instance, can we identify whether a person is
cooperative or self-interested, extraverted or introverted, a liar or trustworthy? How accurately?
And based on what cues (e.g., nonverbal behavior)? In this project, we investigate how people
process information about others and how doing so influences their behavior. 

Truth and Lies
Research reveals that most people tell at least one lie a day. Can people accurately detect when
another person is lying? Research shows that people are poor lie detectors, failing to achieve
accurate detection no more than chance (50%) of the time. In this project, we are exploring
perceptions of truth-tellers (vs. liars) through a nonverbal behavior lens.

What predicts commitment, status and power in a team or organization? Through surveying real
organizations, this project examines how changes in power and status can affect personality, as
well as what are the antecedents of group commitment.

Narcissism, a relatively stable individual difference personality disposition defined by self-love
that involves grandiosity, feelings of entitlement, callousness, a lack of empathy, and a
willingness to exploit others, is prevalent in our society. In this project, we explore the inferences
that people form about others who possess this personality trait.

I am seeking RAs to commit at least 9 hrs/week, although you should expect some weeks to work 12 hours/week. Most of the time will be running research participants. However, I anticipate RAs will be involved in nearly all phases of the research process, including literature reviews, experimental design, data collection and data analysis. 

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Daniel Stein, Graduate Student

Qualifications: RAs should be conscientious, proactive, motivated, independent and willing to ask questions and learn. Students interested in social/personality psychology and organizational behavior (from any major) are highly encouraged to apply. Preferable, but not essential: computer programming/web design skills, R.

Weekly Hours: 9-11 hrs