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Contact Information

Ian Handley, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Department of Psychology
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-3440

Tel: (406) 994-6508
Fax: (406) 994-3804
Office: 329 Traphagen


Persuasion and Affect Lab (PAL) 


Pictured Members    

  • Left to Right: (Bottom:) Mark Sollars, Amy Seel, Laura Cichosz, Ian Handley, Dana Whitaker; (Top:) Justin Palker, Akiko Hori, Matthew Widdekind, Jarrett Twamley (members not in picture: LeeAnna Bunch, Katherine Shepperd, Mara Westenberg)

Research Foci    

  • The Persuasion and Affect Lab (PAL) conducts research broadly within the domain of social cognition. Primary research areas include attitudes and persuasion, affect and social cognition, and the effects of initial expectations on subsequent experiences. Within the attitudes and persuasion realm, our research investigates the influence of action/inaction goals, mental simulations of the future, emotional experiences, individual differences, and non-conscious thinking processes on the extent to which individuals’ attitudes are formed or changed. Our lab also studies emotion-regulation processes, the influence of affect on judgment of familiarity, the influence of familiarity on affective judgments, and the effects of non-conscious emotion on judgments and evaluations. More recently, we have conducted research investigating factors that influence when our expectations for future feelings actually influence our subsequent experiences (e.g., the placebo effect). In addition to these primary lines, members of the PAL have also investigated counterfactual thinking, dispositional hypnotizability, dispositional optimism and impression formation, goal activation, perceptions of law and negative self-attributions, salience effects in videotaped confessions, and the self-serving bias.

Laboratory Members (Spring Semester, 2010)     

  • Ian M. Handley, Ph.D. (Lead Investigator).

  • C. Mark Sollars (2nd Year Graduate Student and lab Manager).

  • Undergraduate Research Assistants: LeeAnna Bunch, Laura Cichosz, Akiko Hori, Justin Palker, Amy Seel, Katherine Shepperd, Jarrett Twamley, Mara Westenberg, Dana Whitaker, Matthew Widdekind (USP student)

  • Frequent collaborators at other universities: Dolores Albarracin (University of Illinois), Patrick Carroll (Ohio State University), Andrew Geers (University of Toledo)

Select Publications (see "additional publications" for full list and downloads)      

  • Handley, I. M., Albarracín, D., Brown, R. D., Li, H., Kumkale, E. C., & Kumkale, G. T. (2009). When the expectations from a message will not be realized: Naïve theories can eliminate expectation-congruent judgments via correction. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 933-939.

  • Albarracín, D., Handley, I. M., Noguchi, K., McCulloch, K. C., Li, H., Leeper, J., Brown, R. D., Earl, A., & Hart, W. P. (2008). Increasing and Decreasing Motor and Cognitive Output: A Model of General Action and Inaction Goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 510–523.

  • Handley, I. M., Lassiter, G. D., Nickell, E. F., & Herchenroeder, L. M. (2004). Affect and automatic mood maintenance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40, 106-112.

  • Geers, A. L., Handley, I. M., & McLarney, A. (2003). Discerning the role of optimism in persuasion: The valence-enhancement hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social psychology, 85, 554-565.

  • Handley, I. M., & Lassiter, G. D. (2002). Mood and information processing: When happy and sad look the same. Motivation and Emotion, 26, 223-255.





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