Karina Schumann, PhD


I am currently a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Carol Dweck at Stanford University. In 2011, I completed my PhD in Social Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Michael Ross at the University of Waterloo. My research focuses on identifying factors that help people successfully manage their conflicts and respond to challenging social interactions in prosocial ways.


In my research, I aim to identify factors that can help people build bridges and connect to one another. I focus on promoting constructive behavior in situations where positive responses are important but challenging, such as contexts of conflict, threat, or intergroup interactions.

I began investigating the psychology of conflict resolution during my graduate career. In several lines of research, I examined the predictors, content, and consequences of apologies. This work also inspired my research on revenge and forgiveness, two contrary responses to victimization that have substantially different effects on psychological and physical well-being. I have recently been extending this program of research by identifying methods for promoting more effective apologies from transgressors and more forgiving responses from victims.

In related work, I study ways to increase people’s openness to learning from others in the context of intellectual and sociopolitical disagreements. I also examine how people’s mindsets of empathy—their beliefs about whether or not they can develop their empathy—affect whether they reach across a variety of barriers to understand and help others. I am excited to continue with these lines of research and eventually develop interventions that help people effectively manage their conflicts and respond to challenging social interactions in more constructive ways.


Research Interests

Psychology Department, Stanford University

Building 420 Jordan Hall, 450 Serra Mall

Stanford, CA  94305