Nathanael Fast studies the factors that facilitate and hinder effective leadership among both men and women. His research examines the determinants and consequences of power and status in groups and organizations as well as the interpersonal processes that lead people, ideas, and practices to become and stay prominent. He also examines the development of effective professional networks as well as the psychological consequences of the use of new technologies. His findings have relevance for leaders aiming to create positive and equitable work cultures and have been published in top-tier academic journals and popular media outlets. He earned his Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Stanford University and has received numerous awards for his teaching and research.
Valerie Folkes is Robert E. Brooker Chair of Marketing & Professor of Marketing at USC Marshall. She studies consumers’ responses to negative information and their judgments of service and product performance. At USC, Folkes has served as the Vice Dean of Programs and Vice Dean of Undergraduate Programs, as well as Chair of the Marketing Department. She is a recipient of USC’s Mellon Award for Mentoring students. She was elected President of the Association for Consumer Research in 2001, and is a Fellow of the Consumer Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association.
Leigh Plunkett Tost studies the psychological and sociological dynamics of hierarchy and diversity in organizations. Her research on hierarchy focuses on questions about how power differences in teams and organizations affect team performance and ethical decision making. Her work on diversity examines people’s attitudes about diversity and explores the unintended consequences of diversity initiatives. Her research has been published in a broad range of academic journals, including Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Personality and Social Psychology Review, and Psychological Science. In addition, the implications of her research have been discussed in numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, Forbes, and Harvard Business Review.
Sarah Townsend’s research reveals the dysfunctional behaviors and physiological costs that can result when individuals’ cultural beliefs collide with the dominant cultural beliefs of organizations. Focusing on diversity in higher education and the workplace, she studies these “cultural divides” by examining differences in meritocracy beliefs, social class, gender, and race. Her work demonstrates that although cultural divides are a source of inequality, they can also be leveraged as a solution to it. Dr. Townsend's research has been published in numerous scholarly outlets, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
Wendy Wood is a social psychologist whose research addresses the ways that habits guide behavior - and why they are so difficult to break - as well as evolutionary accounts of gender differences in behavior. Professor Wood has been Associate Editor of Psychological Review, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Review, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, and a founding member of the Society for Research Synthesis. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, and Rockefeller Foundation. Prior to joining USC, Professor Wood was James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Professor of Marketing at Duke University.