Andrew Hales and Joseph Wellman honor for social science research
SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 BY STAFF REPORT
The Society of Experimental Social Psychology has named University of Mississippi psychology professors Andrew H. Hales and Joseph D. Wellman as 2022 SESP fellows. SESP is a leading international professional organization dedicated to advancing experimental social psychological research. The organization’s members nominated the two assistant professors of psychology, and the membership committee reviewed their contributions to social psychology as an empirical science.
“I congratulate Dr. Hales and Dr. Wellman on this recognition of the impact of their work on the field and society,” said Rebekah Smith, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology. “Only a select few researchers are so honored, and this brings important recognition to their research program, the department and the university.”
Hales, who joined the UM faculty in 2020, has targeted his research toward answering questions about social life and decision-making.He uses experimental methods to examine the causes and consequences of social ostracism and influence by asking questions such as: Why are some people left out but not others? Why does it hurt so bad to be left out, and what can people do to feel better if they are ostracized? And, if being left out hurts so badly, why do people often ostracize others?
“I am pleased to have my research recognized and to be elected into this organization,” said Hales, who directs the UM Social Connections and Influence Lab. “I am especially excited to engage with this community of experts in social psychological research.”
A 2021-23 Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies fellow, Wellman has focused his research on the stigma, prejudice and perceptions of bias from the perspective of dominant groups, such as white men, and stigmatized groups, such as ethnic minorities.
His recent work focuses on the implications of zero-sum beliefs for bias among Christians and LGBT individuals and between Asian Americans and African Americans for intergroup bias, cooperation and solidarity.
Wellman recently received a $9,000 grant for his two-year research project studying how individuals respond to claims of sexism, particularly how intersecting identities and in-group-out-group dynamics affect those responses.
“It’s very much an honor to be appointed a fellow of SESP,” Wellman said. “This is a group of researchers who I admire, respect, and to be counted among them is truly validating.
“Being a part of this society also offers me the opportunity to bring attention to the work of my Ph.D. students and the work being conducted in the social psychology area here at the University of Mississippi.”