Kristy Dean

Kristy Dean

Associate Professor
B. A., Michigan State University
M.A., Ph.D., Northwestern University
Office: 2138 Au Sable Hall
Phone: (616) 331-2412

Office Hours


Social Psychology/Cross-Cultural Psychology

Courses Taught

PSY101 - Introductory Psychology

PSY355 - Psychology and Culture

Current Research Interests

My primary research interests center on the social and flexible nature of the self-concept and self-regulatory strategies, which I examine across three different (but related) areas of research.

First, I study how our self-views differ across cultures and shift across situations to impact motivation and motivational processes, like goal pursuit. I am particularly interested in socio-cultural differences in the use of positive vs. negative information (like optimism vs. pessimism), and the use of subjective experiences vs. performance standards to guide our judgments and decisions when pursuing goals. Additionally, I am currently working on several projects examining when and how social views of the self hinder vs. facilitate our attempts at self-control.

Second, my research investigates the strategies people use to repair belonging needs after a social exclusion experience, focusing both on the preference for direct, social strategies (vs. indirect, nonsocial strategies), and the different forms of exclusion that guide one’s choice of repair strategies.

Third, I’m interested in biculturalism and its impact on the structure and content of our self-concepts and our ability to shift our self-concepts and behaviors to adjust to varying social situations and social demands.

Representative Publications

Dean, K. K., & *Fles, E. H.  (2016). The effects of independent and interdependent self-construal on reactions to transgressions:  Distinguishing between guilt and shame.  Self & Identity, 15, 90-106. (Dean and Fles share first author credit).

Molden, D. C., Lucas, G. M., Gardner, W. L., Dean, K. K., & Knowles, M. L. (2009). Motivations for promotion or prevention following social exclusion: Being rejected versus being ignored. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 415-431.

Gardner, W. L., & Dean, K. K. (2007). Interdependent self-construals. In R. F. Baumeister & K. D. Vohs (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Social Psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gabriel, S., Carvallo, M., Dean, K. K., Tippin, B., & Renaud, J. M. (2005). How I see “me” depends on how I see “we”: The role of attachment style in social comparison. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 1561-1572.

McConnell, A. R., Renaud, J. M, Dean, K. K. , Green, S. P., Lamoreaux, M. J., & Rydell, R. J. (2005). Whose self is it anyway?: Self-aspect control moderates the relation between self-complexity and well-being. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 41, 1-18.

Gardner, W. L., Gabriel, S., & Dean, K. K. (2004). The individual as “melting pot”: The flexibility of bicultural self-construals. Current Psychology in Cognition, 22, 181-201.

Page last modified January 11, 2018