My research interests are in gender differences and similarities as well as in attitudes, habits, and behavior control. In studying gender, I am interested in evolutionary accounts of what gender differences are innate characteristics of the human species, and what ones reflect the more variable influence of particular cultures? This question is hotly debated. Its answer depends on what assumptions one makes about evolutionary pressures on human ancestors and how these influence men's and women's innate psychology. In this work, I study men’s and women’s behavior across cultures as well as the psychological processes that lead to sex differences within our society.
My interest in habits comes from observing how difficult it is to change repeated behaviors in daily life. Habits are a form of automaticity that people learn when they repeatedly respond in a given context. With repetition, people form cognitive associations between the response and context cues (e.g., locations, presence of others). Then, perception of the context activates the associated response in memory. This activation process does not require a supporting goal, and people thus repeat good and bad habits.
- Applied Social Psychology
- Attitudes and Beliefs
- Culture and Ethnicity
- Emotion, Mood, Affect
- Evolution and Genetics
- Gender Psychology
- Interpersonal Processes
- Motivation, Goal Setting
- Persuasion, Social Influence
- Social Cognition
Research Group or Laboratory:
- Habitual Behavior Laboratory
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- Rothman, A. J., Sheeran, P., & Wood, W. (2009). Reflective and automatic processes in the initiation and maintenance of diet change. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 28 (Suppl), 4-17.
- Hall, D. T., Matz, D., & Wood, W. (2010). Why don't we practice what we preach? A meta-analytic review of religious racism. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 14, 126-139.
- Quinn, J. M., Pascoe, A., Wood, W., & Neal, D. T. (2010). Can't help yourself? Monitor those bad habits. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
- Wood, W., & Neal, D. T. (2009). The habitual consumer. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 19, 579-592.
- Ji Song, M., & Wood, W. (2007). Purchase and consumption habits: Not necessarily what you intend. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 17, 261-276.
- Wood, W., & Neal, D. T. (2007). A new look at habits and the habit-goal interface. Psychological Review, 14, 843-863.
- Verplanken, B., & Wood, W. (2006). Interventions to break and create consumer habits. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 25, 90-103.
- Neal, D. T., Wood, W., & Quinn, J. M. (2006). Habits--A repeat performance. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15, 198-202.
- Matz, D., & Wood, W. (2005). Cognitive dissonance in groups: The consequences of disagreement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition, 88, 22-37.
- Wood, W., Tam, L., & Guerrero Witt, M. (2005). Changing circumstances, disrupting habits. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 918-933.
- Christensen, P. N., Rothgerber, H., Wood, W., & Matz, D. C. (2004). Social norms and identity relevance: A motivational approach to normative behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 1295-1309.
- Wood, W., & Quinn, J. M. (2003). Forewarned and forearmed? Two meta-analytic syntheses of forewarnings of influence appeals. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 119-138.
- Wood, W., Quinn, J., & Kashy, D. (2002). Habits in everyday life: Thought, emotion, and action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 1281-1297.
- Wood, W., & Eagly, A. H. (2002). A cross-cultural analysis of the behavior of women and men: Implications for the origins of sex differences. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 699-727.
- Graduate Social Psychology
- Undergraduate Social Psychology
Department of Psychology
Seeley G. Mudd Building, Room 805
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061
- Phone: (213) 740-2203