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We are an interdisciplinary research lab interested in the psychological determinants and consequences of hierarchy, networks, and technology. We read about, discuss, and conduct research on a wide range of topics, including power and status, judgment and decision making, cultural transmission, morality, meaning, network formation, and leadership behavior.

Principal Investigator


Nathanael Fast is an Associate Professor of Management and Organization at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. He received his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Stanford University.

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Lab Manager


Brittany Torrez received her B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University in 2016. She currently works as a research coordinator at the USC Marshall School of Business. She is interested in how our identities shape the way we perceive others, understand our own behavior, and move throughout the world. More specifically, she's interested in the psychological factors that influence success and status mobility for first-generation college students in university settings and beyond. She plans to pursue her Ph.D. in Social Psychology or Organizational Behavior.



Marlon Mooijman is a postdoctoral researcher in the social psychology department at USC. He received his Ph.D. in social and organizational psychology from Leiden University, The Netherlands. He is interested in the psychological determinants of ethical rule compliance, with particular emphasis on what makes authorities effective at promoting rule compliance. In his current research, he studies how power and status affect authorities’ ability to effectively promote trust, justice and rule compliance.

Graduate Students

Lucas Carden is a doctoral student in the social psychology program at USC where he works with Wendy Wood and Norbert Schwarz. His current research interests include the psychology of habits, automaticity, self-control, embodiment and metaphorical thinking, and judgment and decision making.

Oliver Fisher is in the social psychology Ph.D. program at USC Dornsife College. He received his B.A. in psychology and comparative religion from The Ohio State University. His research interests broadly focus on identity and motivation. More specifically he studies the role of identity in how one responds to difficulty, influencing the self-concept, and impacting behavior.

Priyanka Joshi’s research examines the reciprocal relationship between organizational roles and self-construal and its effects on attitudes, cognitions, and behaviors. In one line of research, she examines the effects of social hierarchies and power providing roles on self-construal, showing that people who have power in their roles are more connected to their future selves, making decisions that benefit their future self. In another line of research, she examines the effects of self-construal on expectations about group members as well as tolerance of corrupt acts. She is also interested in strategies that people use to communicate with distant others. In her research, she uses multiple methodologies including behavioral laboratory experiments, field studies, survey methodology, analysis of archival data, and meta-analytic and research synthesis techniques.


Jennifer Kim is a Ph.D. student in the Management and Organization Department at USC Marshall. She received her bachelor’s degrees in psychology and economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and her master’s degree in social psychology from Seoul National University. She is interested in how individuals negotiate and preserve meaning in their lives, as well as the interpersonal dynamics that play out in such processes. She is also interested in threat-responses, morality, and the value of the human life.


Yookyoung Kim is a Ph.D. candidate at the USC Marshall School of Business. She is interested in the psychology of scarcity, negotiation, competition and construal level theory, and status construal and status-seeking behavior.

David Newman is a Ph.D. student in Management and Organization. He earned his B.A. in psychology from Yale University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. His research interests include moral foundations theory, business ethics, the morality of technology, the pursuit of meaning, and the psychology of property and ownership.


Medha Raj received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 2013, where she majored in economics and minored in psychology. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Management and Organization department at the USC Marshall School of Business. She is interested in understanding the drivers and consequences of interpersonal relationships in organizations. In her current research, she examines the role of forgiveness, guilt, power, and networking in changing relationship behaviors both in interpersonal and professional relationships.

Roshni Raveendhran is a Ph.D. student in the Management and Organization Department at the USC Marshall School of Business. She studies the phenomenon of micromanagement, examining its various facets including determinants, consequences, and the associated managerial implications. She also studies how psychological distance affects learning and decision-making at the individual and organizational levels, focusing on the role of micro-level processes on organizational outcomes.


Mindy Truong received her B.S. in Psychology at the University of California, San Diego in 2014. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Management and Organization department at the USC Marshall School of Business where she previously worked as the research coordinator/lab manager for two years. She is interested in how people's backgrounds affect the way they think, feel, and behave. More specifically, she is interested in how people's social class backgrounds and ideological beliefs influence their organizational outcomes.

Research Assistants


Rebekah Ent is a is a senior majoring in Psychology at USC. She previously attended UC Santa Barbara and worked in the Research Center for Virtual Environments & Behavior as a Research Assistant there. She is particularly interested in Business Psychology and hopes to continue her education at the Marshall School of Business upon graduating in May. Her research interests include the socioeconomic, cultural, and technological factors behind personal branding and how this can lead to successful self-employment. Rebekah is also on the Cross Country and Track&Field teams at USC, and enjoys backpacking and traveling in her spare time.



Cole Jones is a Junior majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering. He is particularly interested in human-system integration and how technology affects the brain. He is considering pursuing a masters or P.hD. in engineering psychology or entering industry as a data analyst, technology consultant or systems designer. Beyond the lab, Cole has served as the Vice President of his fraternity and is an active member of Society 53. He also enjoys practicing yoga, exploring the unexplored and reading books.


Al-Baab Kahn is currently a sophomore student at USC and recently switched her major from Psychology to Health and Human Sciences with a pre-med emphasis. As an immigrant from Pakistan, she understands and has the ambition to reform the adversity that comes with trying to establish a future in a new country. After completing her undergraduate degree, Al-Baab hopes to continue to medical school and eventually apply her skills and experience in to aid trauma victims in third world countries with their mental and physical illnesses, especially back home. In her free time, Al-Baab likes to watch documentaries, write, and go hiking.



Emma Ohanian is a sophomore studying business administration with an emphasis in cinematic arts, with a minor in Communication Law and Media Policy. Her research interests include how cultural and social backgrounds affect people's behavior, such as motivation and decision-making. She is part of USC's club softball team as well as a volunteer on Trojan Vision. Outside of school, she enjoys hiking and yoga


Jade Ponciano is in her last semester at USC, studying Linguistics and Cognitive Science. Her research interests focus on sociolinguistics and computer-mediated communication. She is also a research assistant in the USC Dornsife Computational Social Science Lab. Outside of her academic pursuits, Jade enjoys dancing and traveling.


Flora Shamayan is a Neuroscience major who transferred in as a junior from Santa Monica College. She is currently doing pre-med and will be graduating in Spring 2019. Psychology is something she enjoys studying and here research interests include decision making and emotional regulation. Outside of school, she enjoys playing piano and painting.

Clarice Szeto is a freshman planning to major in psychology while on the pre-med track. She is unsure of what specialization she plans to pursue in medical school. Clarice is particularly fascinated by the way technology has shaped the way people network and communicate, and how it kickstarts global movements surrounding social justice and social hierarchies. She is a part of USC’s student run ballet company, the Health Education Sciences Program, and the Community Health Involvement Program. She’s also an avid foodie and loves exploring LA.

Alexandra Ting is a freshman studying business administration at the Marshall School of Business with plans to minor in digital studies. She is interested in researching about how humans think and act through their emotions and perspective of the situation and how these decisions impact the way they co-exist with the environment around them. Alexandra has been entertaining the idea of going into social entrepreneurship or business management later on. She is also part of USC's Design for America student organization and the Daily Trojan as a photographer. In her free time, she enjoys taking photos and playing and listening to music.

Yijun "Felicity" Zhang is a junior majoring in Communication and minoring in Psychology. She plans to pursue a Phd degree in Organizational behaviors since she focuses on studying human interaction processes. Her favorite activities include collecting comics, writing food blogs, and meeting interesting USC people.

Jean Zhang recently graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from USC. She is also a research assistant in the Situated, Experiential, Embodied, & Pragmatic Lab and the Social Behavior Lab. Jean research interests include persuasive technology, influence, judgement and decision-making, meaning, and self-regulation. She plans to pursue her Ph.D. in Social Psychology or Organizational Behavior.


Former Research Assistants

  • Ishan Abraham
  • Ricardo Galvez
  • Joseph Gaebler
  • Erika Sydney Hilton
  • Murali Joshi
  • Janine Kim
  • Sarah Nuslein
  • Kiansiong (KS) Tey
  • Sara Wiltberger