John Adamopoulos

Professor John Adamopoulos

B.A., Yale University M.A.
Ph.D., University of Illinois
Office: 2204 AuSable Hall
Phone: (616) 331-2388




Social and Cross-Cultural Psychology; History of Psychology

Courses Taught

PSY 355 - Psychology and Culture
PSY 405 - History and Systems
PSY 492 - Advanced General Capstone

Research Interests

My work focuses on the description of "interpersonal structure" (i.e., the psychological dimensions along which social behavior varies), and on the modeling of the mental representation of interpersonal behavior and of the social context in which it occurs. This work has implication both for traditional social/personality psychology, and for a number of related theoretical issues (e.g., the possibility of distinguishing "universal" from culture-specific psychological processes, and the emergence over time of the dimensions along which meaning about interpersonal behavior is communicated).My research in this area follows a two-pronged approach: (1) Laboratory studies (monocultural and cross-cultural) explore the viability of a model that explains the emergence of interpersonal behavior by assuming that all behavior involves the exchange of resources. (2) Analyses of interpersonal interactions in literary documents from different cultures and historical periods (e.g., the Homeric epics) test the model's assumption that the emergence of social behavior can be understood as a predictable evolutionary process.

More recently, related lines of research explore the role of culture in the formation and structure of individual and collective behavioral intentions, and in the construal of action.

Current Research

My current research projects involve (1) the development and testing of Action Construal Theory, which examines the cognitive representation of social behavior, and (2) the examination of the emergence of social meaning over long periods of time and across different cultures.


Adamopoulos, J. (2008). On the entanglement of culture and individual behavior. In F. J. R. Van de Vijver, D. Van Hermet, & Y. H. Poortinga (Eds.), Multilevel analysis of individuals and cultures (pp. 27-62). New York: Psychology Press.

Adamopoulos, J. (2009). From Homer to the 21st century: Charting the emergence of the structure of interpersonal meaning. In A. Gari & K. Mylonas (Eds.). Q.E.D. From Herodotus’ ethnographic journeys to cross-cultural research (pp. 33-41). Athens, Greece: Pedio Books.

Adamopoulos, J., & Pavlopoulos, V. (2010). Οι συμπεριφορικς προθσεις ως ατομικ, συλλογικ και πολιτισμικ διεργασα: Βασικο θεωρητικο προβληματισμο [Intending as an individual, collective, and cultural process: Basic theoretical considerations]. In S. Papastamou, G. Prodromitis, & V. Pavlopoulos (Eds.), Κοινωνικ σκψη, νηση και συμπεριφορ: 29 λληνες κοινωνικο ψυχολγοι ανα-κρνουν την επιστμη τους [Social cognition, thought, and behavior: Twenty-nine Greek social psychologists reflect on their science] (pp. 273-295). Athens, Greece: Pedio Books.

Adamopoulos, J. (2012). The emergence of social meaning: A theory of action construal. In K. Törnblom & A. Kazemi (Eds.). Handbook of social resource theory: Theoretical extensions, empirical insights, and social applications (pp. 255-272). New York: Springer.