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Alison Ledgerwood


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


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 contextual factors that shape people's likes and dislikes, while her methodological and meta-scientific interests focus on developing and promoting research methods and practices that increase what we learn from scientific research. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Hellman Family Foundation. She has served on the Publications Committee and Board of Directors of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and as an associate editor at the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Research Focus

Professor Ledgerwood's research investigates how people's attitudes and experiences are shaped by the social context. Her lab seeks to answer questions such as: When and why do people get stuck in negative or positive ways of thinking about something? To what extent do people's ideas about what they like and dislike map onto what they actually like? And how can scientists design better systems for conducting, analyzing, and reporting research that foster open, inclusive, and cumulative science?

Selected Publications

  • Ledgerwood, A., Hudson, S. T. J., Lewis, N.A., Jr., Maddox, K. B., Pickett, C. L., Remedios, J. D., Cheryan, S., Diekman, A. B., Dutra, N. B., Goh, J. X., Goodwin, S. A., Munakata, Y., Navarro, D. J., Onyeador, I. N., Srivastava, S., & Wilkins, C. L. (2022). The pandemic as a portal: Reimagining psychological science as truly open and inclusive. Perspectives on Psychological Science.
  • Sánchez, A. M., Coleman, C. W., & Ledgerwood, A. (2021). Does temporal distance influence abstraction? A large pre-registered experiment. ​Social Cognition, 39, 352-365.
  • Ledgerwood, A., Eastwick, P. W., & Gawronski, B. (2020). Experiences of liking versus ideas about liking. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
  • Murphy, M. C., Mejia, A., Mejia, J., Yan, X., Cheryan, S., Dasgupta, N., Destin, M., Fryberg, S. A., Garcia, J. A., Haines, E. L., Harackiewicz, J. M., Ledgerwood, A., Moss-Racusin, C. A., Park, L. E., Perry, S. P., Ratliff, K. A., Rattan, A., Sanchez, D. T., Savani, K., Sekaquaptewa, D., Smith, J. L., Taylor, V. J., Thoman, D. B., Wout, D. A., Mabry, P. L., Ressl, S., Diekman, A., & Pestilli, F. (2020). Open science, communal culture, and women's participation in the movement to improve science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • Sparks, J., & Ledgerwood, A. (2019). Age attenuates the negativity bias in reframing effects. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 45, 1042-1056.
  • Ledgerwood, A., Eastwick, P. W., & Smith, L. K. (2018). Toward an integrative framework for studying human evaluation: Attitudes towards objects and attributes. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 22, 378-398.
  • Ledgerwood, A. (2018). The preregistration revolution needs to distinguish between predictions and analyses. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • 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.


Professor Ledgerwood has taught courses on Social Psychology, Open and Inclusive Methods, Political Psychology, Academic Writing, Quantitative Methods, and Attitudes and Social Influence. She speaks regularly to scientists, funding agencies, and students about concrete strategies for making scientific practices more open and inclusive.


In 2021, Professor Ledgerwood received a UC Davis Graduate Program Advising and Mentoring Award, which recognizes “faculty providing outstanding service in advising and mentoring.” In 2017, she 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 Association for Psychological Science and 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.”