Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

David Sherman

David Sherman

I am a social and health psychologist in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara. My research takes a social psychological approach to examine how people cope with threatening events
and information. Coping involves cognitive, emotional, and biological responses as people draw on their
intrapsychic and interpersonal resources to make sense of and adapt to potential threats. My research
examines how people use these resources, focusing on how individuals: (1) cope with threats via the
process of self-affirmation; (2) cope with stressors by drawing on their social support networks; (3)
respond to threatening health information concordant or discordant with their dispositional motivations. I am also very interested in political psychology and factors that promote and attenuate political polarization.

Primary Interests:

  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Group Processes
  • Health Psychology
  • Political Psychology
  • Research Methods, Assessment
  • Self and Identity

Journal Articles:

  • Binning, K. R., & Sherman, D. K. (2011). Categorization and communication in the face of prejudice: When describing perceptions changes what is perceived. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 321-336.
  • Finez, L., & Sherman, D. K. (2012). Train in vain: The role of the self in claimed self-handicapping strategies. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 34, 600-620.
  • Gangi, C., Sherman, D. K., & White, M. L. (2011). Embodied cognition and skilled health behaviour. Psychology and Health, 26, 1006-1017.
  • Hartson, K. A., & Sherman, D. K. (2012). Gradual escalation: The role of continuous commitments in perceptions of guilt. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 1279-1290.
  • Kim, H. S., Sherman, D. K., & Taylor, S. E. (2008). Culture and social support. American Psychologist, 63, 518-526.
  • Sherman, D. A. K., Nelson, L. D., & Steele, C. M. (2000). Do messages about health risks threaten the self? Increasing the acceptance of threatening health messages via self- affirmation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 1046-1058.
  • Sherman, D. K., Bunyan, D. P., Creswell, J. D., & Jaremka, L. M. (2009). Psychological vulnerability and stress: The effects of self-affirmation on sympathetic nervous system responses to naturalistic stressors. Health Psychology, 28(5), 554-562.
  • Sherman, D. K., & Cohen, G. L. (2002). Accepting threatening information: Self-affirmation and the reduction of defensive biases. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11, 119-123.
  • Sherman, D. K., Cohen, G. L., Nelson, L. D., Nussbaum, A. D., Bunyan, D. P., & Garcia, J. (2009). Affirmed yet unaware: Exploring the role of awareness in the process of self-affirmation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97(5), 745-764.
  • Sherman, D. K., Hartson, K. A., Binning, K. R., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Garcia, J., Taborsky-Barba, S., Tomassetti, S., Nussbaum, A. D., & Cohen, G. L. (2013). Deflecting the trajectory and changing the narrative: How self-affirmation affects academic performance and motivation under identity threat. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104, 591-618.
  • Sherman, D. K., Hogg, M. A., & Maitner, A. T. (2009). Perceived polarization: Reconciling ingroup and intergroup perceptions under uncertainty. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 12, 95-109.
  • Sherman, D. K., & Kim, H. S. (2005). Is there an “I” in “team”? The role of the self in group-serving judgments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 108-120.
  • Sherman, D. K., & Kim, H. S. (2002). Affective perseverance: The resistance of affect to cognitive invalidation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 224-237.
  • Sherman, D. K., Kim, H. S., & Taylor, S. E. (2009). Culture and social support: Neural bases and biological impact. Proceedings in Brain Research, 178, 227-237.
  • Sherman, D. K., Kinias, Z., Major, B., Kim, H. S., & Prenovost, M. A. (2007). The group as a resource: Reducing biased attributions for group success and failure via group-affirmation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 1100-1112.
  • Sherman, D. K., Mann, T., & Updegraff, J. A. (2006). Approach/avoidance orientation, message framing, and health behavior: Understanding the congruency effect. Motivation and Emotion, 30, 165-169.
  • Sherman, D. K., Nelson, L. D., & Ross, L. D. (2003). Naïve realism and affirmative action: Adversaries are more similar than they think. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 25, 275-290.
  • Sherman, D. K., Updegraff, J. A., & Mann, T. (2008). Improving oral health behavior: A social psychological approach. Journal of the American Dental Association, 139, 1382-1387.
  • Van Boven, L., Judd, C. M., & Sherman, D. K. (2012). Political polarization projection: Social projection of partisan attitude extremity and attitudinal processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103, 84-100.

Other Publications:

  • Sherman, D. K., & Cohen, G. L. (2006). The psychology of self-defense: Self-affirmation theory. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 38, pp. 183-242). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Courses Taught:

David Sherman
Department of Psychology
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California 93106-9660
United States

  • Phone: (805) 893-3149
  • Fax: (805) 893-4303

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