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Through The Eyes of Women: Dr. Amber Gaffney On Social Psychology

 Assistant Professor Dr. Amber Gaffney is a social psychologist whose research focuses on social identity, group processes and social influence.

Her current work focuses on how prototypical and non-prototypical group members can create and manage uncertainty to enact social change.

She speaks to TTEOW about the new Social Identity and Influence research lab at HSU where students can get hands-on experience working on every stage of research from hypothesis development to publication and presentation of results.

She has researched minority influence, group polarization, leadership, and attitude change from a social identity and self-categorization perspective. In addition, her work has examined gender stereotypes and leadership and prejudice toward both outgroup and ingroup members. Because Dr. Gaffney is particularly interested in political identities and changing political ideology, her work often focuses on social and political issues. 

Dr. Gaffney teaches by sharing her passion for the study of social issues. She currently teaches social psychology and focuses on teaching both theory and theory development through research and hypothesis generation. As an experimentalist, she teaches experimental and research design in all of her classes to give students a deeper understanding of theory. Her areas of expertise as a social psychologist are in social influence and persuasion, group processes, and self and identity. She is dedicated to providing her students with the tools that they need to be successful in their future careers and to be good members of society. By understanding group processes and social psychology, students can develop an understanding for how people operate in their worlds as well as an appreciation for diversity of thoughts and perspectives.

  The Alistair & Judith McCrone Promising Faculty Scholar Award recognizes HSU’s newest faculty, acknowledging their potential in their field of research, and continued achievement.

Amber received her PhD in social psychology from the Claremont Graduate University in 2014. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Humboldt State University in 2006. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Michael Hogg at the Claremont Graduate University and has taught and worked at the Claremont Graduate University, Claremont McKenna College, and Pomona College in Claremont, CA and at Whittier College in Whittier, CA. Dr. Gaffney serves as a Consultant Editor for Group Processes and Intergroup Relations and is an affiliate member of the Social Identity Lab at the Claremont Graduate University CGU Social Identity Lab and the Group Processes and Leadership Lab at the University of Alberta Alberta Leadership Lab.

As a Champion cyclist, Amber Gaffney sees a connection with leadership, sports, and passion. For more information, you can contact Dr. Amber Gaffney at (707) 826-4313 or visit

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