This is the academic web site of Dana Leighton. I am an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology and Counseling at Marywood University in Scranton, PA. I teach and do research in social psychology and peace psychology. I am currently investigating the concept of a “scope of justice,” or the individuals we include in our “moral community,” those we deem worthy of just distribution of tangible and intangible social goods. This research is leading me to investigate the effects of intergroup threat, particularly cultural and economic threats, on the contraction of the scope of justice. I am also beginning a line of research on intergroup trust and its role in moral exclusion and peacebuilding.
I earned my Doctor of Philosophy degree in experimental
psychology at the University of Arkansas, working in
the lab of Dr. David A. Schroeder, Professor
of Psychology. Dave’s a great researcher and mentor,
with interests are in prosocial behavior, social
dilemmas, and justice concerns. I worked in the lab
with my fellow student, Dennis Poepsel, and a great
group of undergraduate research assistants.
I completed my Master of Arts degree at the University of British Columbia, in
beautiful Vancouver, Canada, studying Social
Psychology. At the University of British Columbia, I
was a student of Dr. Peter Suedfeld, an amazing
person and outstanding researcher in Political
Psychology, Environmental Psychology, and Social
Psychology. I worked in Dr. Suedfeld's REST lab, where
we did research on restricted environments and also on
my area of interest, Integrative Complexity. I also
worked with Dr. Mark Schaller, studying
prejudice and stereotyping behaviors. I worked in his
Social Cognition Lab, looking at how people think
about each other.
I am an alumnus of Whitman College
in Walla Walla, Washington. It's an amazing college
with fantastic opportunities for bright, motivated
students to excel in a supportive, yet academically
challenging environment. Check it out if you're
looking for a good undergraduate college.
I also attended a number of community colleges, and taught
at two community colleges between my master’s degree and
enrolling for my PhD at the University of Arkansas. One
reason I liked teaching at the community college is the
commitment to egalitarianism in education, and also that I
could "give back" to the system that allowed me to change
my career from software development to psychology.
For more details on my career, see my curriculum vitae.