Kristy Dean

Kristy Dean

Professor - Social/Cross Cultural Psychology

  • B. A., Michigan State University
  • M.A., Ph.D., Northwestern University

Office: 2211 AuSable Hall

Phone: (616) 331-2412

Email: [email protected] 


Are you an undergraduate student interested in getting involved in psychology research? Are you a faculty member interested in learning more about mentoring and opportunities to mentor students through your research?  Please check out the resources available through GVSU's Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship!  


Social Psychology/Cross-Cultural Psychology

Courses Taught

PSY101 - Introductory Psychology

PSY355 - Psychology and Culture

PSY 360 - Social Psychology: Psychology's View

Research Interests

My research on the social self takes two forms. My first program of research examines the consequences of social exclusion, that is, what happens when our attempts to connect with others are thwarted? Recently this work has focused on the interconnection between our need for belonging and our need for physical safety. Specifically, my collaborators and I are interested in the effects of social exclusion on perceptions and feelings of physical vulnerability in general, in specific environments (like on campus), and among different types of people and groups. We are also examining how, when, and why people respond defensively to social exclusion. Lastly, some of our research explores the language we use to describe the experience of social exclusion, specifically the feeling of "being invisible".

My second program of research examines how the social self-concept -- our construal of the self as interdependent and connected to others -- directs different cognitive and motivational processes. Some of this research examines how the interdependent self guides goal-directed behavior, specifically focusing on the types of information (like feeling states and past experiences) we use when pursuing a goal and predicting future outcomes. My collaborators and I also examine how the interdependent self guides interpersonal behavior, particularly emotional reactions (like guilt and shame) and behavioral reactions (like social withdrawal) to social transgressions. Lastly, my studies on the interdependent self overlap with work from a cross-cultural psychology perspective on the self and behavior. Research in this vein examines cross-cultural similarities and differences in attribution (i.e., explanations for behavior), and attempts to "unpackage" cultural differences in terms of culture-level differences in individualistic and collectivistic orientations and person-level differences in independent and interdependent self-construals.

Current Research

Contact me to learn more about what I am studying this semester!

Representative Publications

Hoogeveen, S., Sarafoglou, A., Aczel, B., Aditya, Y., Alayan, Al J., Allen, P. J., Altay, S., Alzahawi, S., Amir, Y., Anthony, F-V., Appiah, O. K., Atkinson, Q. D., Baimel, A., Balkaya-Ince, M., Balsamo, M., Banker, S., Bartos, F., Becerra, M., …Dean, K. K., …Wagenmakers, E. J. (2022). A many-analysts approach to the relation between religiosity and well-being. Religion, Brain, & Behavior, 1-47. (Involved 120 analyst teams.)

Dillard, A. J., Dean, K. K., *Gilbert, H., & Lipkus, I. M. (2021). You won’t regret it (or love it) as much as you think: Impact biases for everyday health behavior outcomes. Psychology & Health, 36(7), 761-786.

Dean, K. K. & Koenig, A. M (2019). Cross-cultural differences and similarities in attribution. In K. D. Keith (Ed.), Cross-Cultural Psychology: Contemporary Themes and Perspectives, (2nd edition). Malden, MA: Wiley.

Dean, K. K., *Wentworth, G., & *LeCompte, N. (2019). Social exclusion and perceived vulnerability to physical harm. Self & Identity, 18, 87-102. doi: 10.1080/15298868.2017.1370389

Knowles, M. L., & Dean, K. K. (2018). Present but invisible: Physical obscurity fosters social disconnection. European Journal of Social Psychology, 48, 86-92. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2274

Koenig, A. M. & Dean, K. K.  (2017). Teaching about cultural differences in the correspondence bias.  In K. D. Keith (Ed.), Culture across the Curriculum: A Psychology Teacher's Handbook (pgs. 371-390).  Cambridge University Press.

Page last modified July 14, 2023