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Alison Ledgerwood

Education

  • Ph.D., Social Psychology, New York University, 2008
  • M.A., Psychology, New York University, 2006
  • B.A., Psychology, Amherst College, 2003

About

In addition to her academic appointment in the Department of Psychology, Alison Ledgerwood is the principal investigator for the Attitudes and Group Identity Lab. Her research centers on the psychological tools that enable humans to move beyond their immediate experience, while her methodological interests focus on developing and promoting methods and practices that can increase the informational value of psychological research. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Hellman Family Foundation. She serves as an associate editor at the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and previously served as the associate editor for methodological submissions at Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Research Focus

Professor Ledgerwood's research investigates how humans get stuck in particular ways of thinking, as well as the psychological tools that enable them to get unstuck and move beyond their immediate experience. Her lab seeks to answer questions such as: When and why do people get stuck in negative or positive ways of thinking about something? When do people's attitudes shift in response to an individual's opinion or a casual anecdote, and when do their attitudes align instead with prevailing social norms and group consensus? To what extent do people's ideas about what they like and dislike map onto what they actually like? And how can researchers design better systems for conducting, analyzing, and reporting research that help scientists counteract the biases of their human minds?

Selected Publications

  • Boydstun, A. E., Ledgerwood, A., & Sparks, J. (in press). A negativity bias in reframing shapes political preferences even in partisan contexts. Social and Personality Psychology Science.
  • Ledgerwood, A., Eastwick, P. W., & Smith, L. K. (in press). Toward an integrative framework for studying human evaluation: Attitudes towards objects and attributes. Personality and Social Psychology Review.
  • Ledgerwood, A. (in press). New developments in research methods. In R. Baumeister & E. Finkel (Eds.), Advanced Social Psychology. Oxford University Press.
  • Sparks, J., & Ledgerwood, A. (2017). When good is stickier than bad: Understanding gain/loss asymmetries in sequential framing effects. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146, 1086-1105.
  • Wang, Y. A., Sparks, J., Gonzales, J., Hess, Y. D., & Ledgerwood, A. (2017). Using independent covariates in experimental designs: Quantifying the trade-off between power boost and Type I error inflation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 72, 118-124.
  • Callahan, S. P., & Ledgerwood, A. (2016). On the psychological function of flags and logos: Group identity symbols increase perceived entitativity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110, 528-550.
  • Soderberg, C. K., Callahan, S. P., Kochersberger, A. O., Amit, E., & Ledgerwood, A. (2015). The effects of psychological distance on abstraction: Two meta-analyses. Psychological Bulletin, 141, 525-548.

Teaching

Professor Ledgerwood has taught courses on Social Psychology, Political Psychology, Academic Writing, Quantitative Methods, and Attitudes and Social Influence.

Awards

In 2017, Professor Ledgerwood received the Service to the Field award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, which "recognizes distinguished efforts by individuals to benefit the field of social and personality psychology generally." She is a UC Davis Chancellor's Fellow and a fellow of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. From 2010 to 2011, she was awarded a Hellman Fellowship at the University of California, Davis, which recognizes “young faculty in the core disciplines who show capacity for great distinction in their research and creative activities.”