My main research interests are in social and personality psychology, with a strong dose of cognitive psychology. My early research focussed on attribution theory (including attributional style), human inference, and social judgment processes. Most of my current research focuses on aggression, especially on the potentially harmful effects of exposure to violent entertainment media. Other aggression research under way in my lab includes work on jealousy, aggressive personality, desensitization, the weapons effect, and public policy issues regarding violent media. In addition, my students and other colleagues and I have been working on the General Aggression Model, designed to integrate aggression and violence findings from a variety of research paradigms. The model includes individual difference and situational input variables. It includes a developmental component as well.
In related work (some published, some in progress), we have been trying to more clearly identify components of Aggressive Personality. We have shown, for instance, that aggressive people have two different hostility-related biases: they expect other people to behave more aggressively than do non-aggressive people; they "see" more aggression in on-going dyadic interactions than do non-aggressive people. Current work includes research on the relations among various trait aggressiveness factors, attitudes towards aggression, and the Big Five personality structure.
A recent research interest of mine concerns the external validity of laboratory paradigms. My colleagues and I have compared effect sizes obtained in lab versus field settings, and have found considerable convergence, both within the aggression domain, and across a wide variety of psychological research domains.
We have also begun exploring the relation between the scientific state of knowledge about media violence effects and news reports about such effects. Specifically, we have examined shifts across time as the research evidence accumulated. We found that as the research evidence of a link between exposure to violent media and subsequent aggression grew stronger, the news reports got systematically weaker.
In all of these research interests, my main focus has been on studying basic psychological processes underlying significant human problems. Thus, even though most of my research is not strictly "applied" psychology, all of it has important implications for improving the human condition in contemporary society. Indeed, the potential applicability of research findings is what largely determines my choice of research topics.
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Allison, S. T., & Goethals, G. R. (2013). Heroic leadership: An influence taxonomy of 100 exceptional individuals. New York: Routledge.
- Linked image: Heroic Leadership
- Allison, S. T., & Goethals, G. R. (2011). Heroes: What they do and why we need them. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Kim, J., Allison, S. T., Eylon, D., Goethals, G., Markus, M., McGuire, H., & Hindle, S. (2008). Rooting for (and then abandoning) the underdog. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38, 2550-2573.
- Goethals, G. R., & Allison, S. T. (2012). Making heroes: The construction of courage, competence and virtue. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 183-235.
- Eylon, D., & Allison, S. T. (2005). The frozen in time effect in evaluations of the dead. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 1708-1717.
- Allison, S. T., & Eylon, D. (2005). The demise of leadership: Death positivity biases in posthumous impressions of leaders. In D. Messick & R. Kramer (Eds.), The psychology of leadership: Some new approaches (pp. 295-317). New York: Erlbaum.
- Allison, S. T., & Burnette, J. (2010). Fairness and preference for underdogs and top dogs. In R. Kramer, A. Tenbrunsel, & M. Bazerman, (Eds.), Social Decision Making: Social Dilemmas, Social Values, and Ethical Judgments. New York: Psychology Press.
- Allison, S. T., & Goethals, G. R. (2008). Deifying the dead and downtrodden: Sympathetic figures as exceptional leaders. In C. L. Hoyt, G. R. Goethals, & D. R. Forsyth (Eds.), Leadership at the crossroads: Psychology and leadership. Westport, CT: Praeger.
- Allison, S. T., & Goethals, G. R. (2012). The seven paradoxes of heroism. Personality and Social Psychology Connections.
- Group Dynamics
- Heroes and Villains
- Research Methods and Statistical Analyses
- Social Psychology
Scott T. Allison
Department of Psychology
University of Richmond
28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
- Phone: (804) 289-8127
- Fax: (804) 287-1905