Members of our lab work on projects that represent a range of theoretical perspectives and behavioral outcomes of interest, and that take place in different areas of the world. We are united by an interest in applied behavioral science (Kahneman, 2012), in experimental methods, and in pragmatic theories that generate predictions about behavior in real world settings. Some of the topics that lab members are currently working on include the reduction of intimate partner violence, the consequences of participation in violence, the effects of university culture on students, and peacebuilding in conflict and post conflict settings. We meet weekly to workshop one project at a time. 

Lab member profiles below—please see especially this year’s job market candidates: Sherry Wu, Yang-Yang Zhou, and Nathan Matias.


Sherry Wu

I am currently on the job market, as a Ph.D candidate in psychology with a certificate in social policy. My primary area of research is social psychology and the interplay of psychology and economics. Some of my current research questions ask: How do group dynamics influence individual behavior, such as worker productivity? What’s the impact of scarcity on people’s decision processes and psychological outcomes? How do we use psychological tools to nudge people into adopting more desirable behavior? For my dissertation, I am exploring how group decision making, and participation in more democratic working conditions, can increase worker productivity and change their social attitudes, using field experiments among Chinese factory workers in a multinational firm.

I received my B.A. in psychology and economics (summa cum laude) from University of Virginia in 2013. In my undergraduate life, I studied affective forecasting and cultural psychology with Tim Wilson and Shige Oishi. I’ve also done research on game theories and bargaining in economics.


Robin Gomila

I am a fourth year Ph.D. student in social psychology and social policy, working with Betsy Levy Paluck. In one line of research, I investigate how people consciously decide to engage in behaviors that are in direct opposition to strong and widely known ingroup norms. Specifically, I use qualitative and quantitative methods to characterize the psychological processes that precede deviance from prescriptive norms, and their chronology.

Another line of research examines the extent to which "authority sanction" (e.g., exclusionary law, politicians' hate speech) affects the conditions of intergroup contact and the chance of prejudice reduction following intergroup contact. 

I earned my undergraduate degree in Psychology at Paris Descartes University (France) and worked as Betsy Levy Paluck’s Lab Manager for two years before starting my Ph.D.


Chelsey Simone Clark

I am a first year Ph.D. student in social psychology, working with Betsy Levy Paluck. I graduated from Yale College in 2017 with a B.S. in psychology on the neuroscience track. I then conducted research as a post-baccalaureate student in the Yale Psychology Department through the Emerging Scholars Initiative -Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program fellowship. Throughout my undergraduate career and my post-baccalaureate career, I worked in the Comparative Cognition Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Laurie Santos. I am currently focusing on prejudice reduction research.

Roni Porat

I am a post-doctoral research associate at the Paluck lab in the Psychology Department at Princeton University. Starting in Fall 2019, I will be an Assistant Professor at Hebrew University. My research focuses on emotional processes and intergroup relations, and aims to develop research-based psychological field interventions that promote peaceful and egalitarian relations in conflicted societies. Im my current work I’m interested in looking at the role of emotion in processes related to norm perception and norm change.

I received my Ph.D from the Hebrew University in Israel, and my dissertation focused on emotional preferences in intergroup contexts.  




J. Nathan Matias

I am (@natematias) a computational social scientist who organizes citizen behavioral science initiatives toward a fairer, safer, more understanding internet. A Guatemalan-American, I am a post-doctoral researcher at the Princeton Paluck Lab in psychology and the Center for Information Technology Policy.

I am the founder of CivilServant, a nonprofit that supports citizen-led behavioral science and conducts independent, public-interest audits and evaluations of social technologies. In 2017, I completed my Ph.D. at the MIT Media Lab with Ethan Zuckerman on the governance of human and machine behavior in an experimenting society (video) (thesis). My recent research has focused on preventing harassment, broadening gender diversity on social media, responding to human/algorithmic misinformation, and auditing social technologies, studies that have collaborated with tens of millions of people on reddit and twitter. I also publish research on social movements, civic participation, and social change.

Joel E. Martinez

I am a graduate student in both the psychology department and the Woodrow Wilson school for social policy. I received my B.S. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin where I studied social memory and cognitive neurodevelopment. For my graduate work, I use quantitative approaches to study social cognition and perception at the junction of many domains: immigration, race, sexuality, and class. More specifically, I investigate how we represent others in mind as an index to prejudice and quantify shared understandings of discourse used in social conflict (e.g., “racism”, “dangerous") as a framework for intervention.

Jordan Starck

I am a graduate student pursuing a joint degree in psychology & social policy. I study race, bias, and interventions for social change, often within the context of education.  One current line of research investigates how framing social policies and issues in various ways affects social perceptions and intergroup attitudes. Another line analyzes how teachers’ biases affect student outcomes.  I received my BS in Psychology and Professional Educator’s License from Davidson College, after which I spent four years as a K-12 educator where I taught a variety of social studies courses and consulted with educators, officers, and non-profits on topics related to bias.


Yang-Yang Zhou

I am a Ph.D. candidate currently on the job market, in Comparative Politics at Princeton University, a National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate research fellow, a Charlotte Elizabeth Procter honorific fellow, and a Program for Quantitative and Analytical Political Science (Q-APS) graduate student fellow. 

My research primarily focuses on the effects of migration and forced displacement on citizenship and national identity in local, host populations. This work is funded by the NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant. Additionally, I study citizens' feelings of efficacy for demanding better public goods provision; how cash transfers and other economic development programs affect support of political violence; and whether refugees spread civil conflict. I also work to develop statistical methods for asking sensitive survey questions. Prior to Princeton, I worked for the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, and I received my BA in International Relations honors, Anthropology, and Africana Studies at NYU.

John Henry Pezzuto

I am Betsy Levy Paluck’s lab manager. My previous research has looked into the relationship between temporal discounting and behavior, charitable exchange, peer effects in Chicago schools, and social cognition — which I’ve conducted in both lab and field settings. Prior to joining the Paluck lab, I worked in New York as a data curator for a multi-university FDA grant. I received my M.A. from the University of Chicago where I studied behavioral science and received certification in computational social science. I received my B.S. in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Paige Amormino


I am a Research Assistant and a senior in the Psychology department. I joined the lab as an RA last spring, and have assisted with a field study on workplace norms in China. I am still deciding what to do my independent research on, but current areas of interest include group dynamics, perception of self, and empathy.


Mariella Rubenson

I am an eleventh grade student interested in market research and social psychology. I am especially interested in how kids think about their own behavior and how this affects the way they think about how people react to them. I am also interested in altruism and giving among kids and in ways of measuring this. For the last three years, I have conducted surveys and experiments on how people celebrate Christmas. For my last study Betsy Levy Paluck gave me ideas for an experiment on naughtiness (see: 

 My latest research project included a survey on people's preferences for children's literature. It was a surprise gift for Betsy. You can read about it here. When I am not at school, I study ballet. I also enjoy reading, skiing, traveling with my family, and playing piano.


Lab Alumns!

Ana Gantman

Jason Chin

Rebecca Littman

Aneesh Rai

Margaret Tankard

Jose Drost-Lopez

Ruth Ditlmann

Hana Shepherd

Courtney Bearns Tablante

Iniko Ntosake

Catherine Idylle

Aly Neel

Kulani Dias 

Heather Kugelmass

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