Christine Smith

professor Christine Smith

Assistant Chair

Professor - Social Psychology

  • B.A., Indiana University
  • M.A., Ph.D., Loyola University, Chicago

Pew Teaching Excellence Award 2018

Distinguished Undergraduate Mentoring Award 2012

Office: 2221 Au Sable Hall

Phone: (616) 331-2424




Pew Teaching Excellence Award 2018

Distinguished Undergraduate Mentoring Award 2012


Social Psychology

Courses Taught

PSY 381 - Group Dynamics
PSY 360 - Social Psychology: Psychology's View
PSY 400 - Advanced Research in Psychology
PSY 499 - Independent Study and Research in Psychology

Research Interests

Over the past several years I have carried out a variety of projects that explore the manner in which groups escape experimentally induced states of fixation while working on problems requiring creative insight. The central question this research addresses is "Are groups at a distinct disadvantage, compared to individuals, when attempting to escape a mental rut?" 

Additionally, I have focused upon how numerical minorities affect the cognitive process of individual group members as well as the quality of collaboratively generated products.  The central question this research addresses is "Does the presence of a minority source of influence enhance the decision making/problem solving processes and outcomes of groups?"

Publications and Presentations

Smith, C. M., Dzik, P., & Fornicola, E. (under review). Threatened suicide and baiting crowd formation: A replication and extension of Mann (1981).   

Smith, C. M., Dzik, P., & Fornicola, E. (2017).  Threatened Suicide and Baiting Crowd Formation.  Paper presented at the 15th European Congress of Psychology, Amsterdam, Holland.  
Smith, C. (2017). Group Communication Affects the Ability to Escape Experimentally Induced Fixation. First International Symposium on Intergroup Communication, Thessaloniki Greece.  
Smith, C., Spear, S., Dzik, P., Crawford, J. (2017).  Escaping Experimentally Induced Fixation on a Eureka-Type Task.  Midwestern Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Chicago IL.  

Smith, C., Bulthuis, K., Johnson, B., D'Amore, J. (2017). Group Creativity: Does Interaction Enhance the Ability to Escape Fixation?  Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.  

Tindale, R. S., Smith, C. M., Dykema-Engblade, A. & Kluwe, K. (2012).  Good and bad group performance: Same process-different outcomes.  Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 15, 603-618.  
Galen, L., Smith, C. M., Knapp, N. & Wyngarden, N. (2011).  Perceptions of religious and nonreligious targets: Exploring the effects of perceiver’s religious fundamentalism. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 41, 2121-2143.   
Smith, C. M., Bushouse, E., & Lord, J. (2010).  Individual and Group Performance on Insight Problems: The Effects of Experimentally Induced Fixation.  Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 13(1), 91-99.      Smith, C. M. & Tindale, R. S. (2009).  Direct and indirect minority influence in groups.  In R. Martin & M. Hewstone (Eds.)  Minority Influence and Innovation: Antecedents, Processes, and Consequences. Psychology Press.

Smith, C. M. (2008).  Adding minority status to a source of conflict: An examination of influence processes and product quality in dyads.  European Journal of Social Psychology, 38 (1), 75-83.   

Smith, C. M. & Diven, P. (2002). Minority influence and political movements. In V. Ottati’s (Ed.) Social Psychological Applications to Social Issues: Developments in Political Psychology, Plenum Press.

Social Influence Lab: Research Experience for Undergraduates

If you are interested in gaining research experience in the area of social influence, please contact me.  I am always looking for excellent research assistants, that is, those who are energetic, detail-oriented, conscientious, able to work well alone and with others, and interested in the subject matter.  The social influence lab meets as a group weekly throughout the academic year.  At these meetings we plan the week’s research activities, discuss ideas for future studies and look at data analyses.

Social Influence Lab 2017-18

Social Influence Lab 2017-18

Seated Paulina Dzik, John D' Amore.  Standing from left to right: Jake Crawford, Katherine Bulthuis, Shelbie Spear, and Alex Denison

Page last modified October 21, 2021