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Erin O'Mara Kunz

Associate Professor

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Psychology


Email: Erin O'Mara Kunz
Phone: 937-229-2161
SJH 308
Website: Visit Site


  • Ph.D., University of Tennessee, 2011
  • M.A., Northern Arizona University, 2005
  • B.A., Quinnipiac University, 2003


Dr. Erin O’Mara Kunz is an associate professor and the director of the Experimental Psychology M.A. Program. Her program of research focuses on self processes, social identity and biases. Much of her research seeks to better understand the psychological processes and motivations that underlie bias. More specifically, her research examines the predictors and consequences of biased self-perceptions, how biased perceptions of the self and others vary as a function of hormonal changes associated with fertility and the extent to which gender and racial biases impact our perceptions of others, health and attitudes. She is also interested in examining factors that impact interpersonal attraction, with a focus on attraction across the menstrual cycle.

Research interests

  • Self-Processes
  • Social Identity
  • Gender and Racial Biases
  • Fertility and the Menstrual Cycle
  • Women's Health
  • Interpersonal Relationships and Attraction

Courses taught

  • PSY 216: Psychological Statistics
  • PSY 217: Research Methods
  • PSY 341: Social Psychology
  • PSY 501: Experimental Research Methods and Statistics I
  • PSY 502: Experimental Research Methods and Statistics I
  • PSY 582: Experimental Social Psychology

Selected publications

Jones, B.C., DeBruine, L.M., Flake, J.K... O'Mara Kunz, E. M. ... Coles, N. A. (2021). To which world regions does the valence–dominance model of social perception apply? Nature Human Behavior. doi: 10.1038/s41562-020-01007-2

Howell, J. L., & O’Mara, E. M. (2020). Political behavior, social projection, and defensiveness: The curious case of swing-state Clinton supporters in 2016. Self and Identity, 19, 164-180. doi: 10.1080/15298868.2018.1546225

O’Mara, E. M., Kunz, B. R., Receveur, A., & Corbin, S. (2019). Is self-promotion evaluated more positively if it is accurate? Reexamining the role of accuracy and modesty on the perception of self-promotion. Self and Identity, 18, 405-424. doi: 10.1080/15298868.2018.1465846

O’Mara, E. M., & Gaertner, L. (2019). Advancing the science of self and identity with evolutionary theory. Self and Identity, 18, 1-3. doi: 10.1080/15298868.2017.1421570

Butler, T. R., O’Mara, E. M., & Wilson, J. F. (2018). Change in drawing placement: A measure of change in mood state reflective of hemispheric lateralization of emotion. Brain and Cognition, 124, 14-19.

O’Mara, E. M., & Gaertner, L. (2017). Does self-enhancement facilitate task performance? Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146, 442-455.

Lynch, B.P. & O’Mara, E. M. (2015). Do autonomous individuals strive for self-positivity? Examining the role of autonomy in the expression of self-enhancement, Self and Identity, 14, 403-419.

Sedikides, C., Gaertner, C., Luke, M. A., O’Mara, E. M., & Gebaur, J. (2013). A three tier hierarchy of motivational self-potency: Individual self, relational self, collective self. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology Volume 48, 235-295.

O’Mara, E. M., Gaertner, L., Sedikides, C., Hou, X., & Liu, Y. (2012). A longitudinal experimental test of the panculturality of self-enhancement: Self-enhancement promotes psychological well being both in the West and the East. Journal of Research in Personality, 46, 157-163.

Gaertner, L., Sedikides, C., Luke, M., O’Mara, E. M., Iuzzini, J., Eckstein Jackson, L., Cai, H., & Wu, Q. (2012). A motivational hierarchy within: Primacy of the individual self, relational self, or collective self? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 997-1013.

O’Mara, E. M., McNulty, J. K., & Karney, B. R. (2011). Positively biased appraisals in Everyday life: When do they benefit mental health and when do they harm it? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 415-432.

O’Mara, E. M., Jackson, L. E., Batson, C. D., & Gaertner, L. (2011). Will moral outrage stand up? Distinguishing among emotional reactions to a moral violation. European Journal of Social Psychology, 41, 173-179.

Cai, H., Sedikides, C., Gaertner, L., Wang, C., Carvallo, M., Xu, Y., O’Mara, E. M., & Jackson, L. E. (2011). Tactical self-enhancement in China: Is modesty at the service of self-enhancement in East-Asian culture? Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2, 59-64.

Gaertner, L, Iuzzini, J., & O'Mara E. M. (2008). When rejection by one fosters aggression against many: Multiple-victim aggression as a consequence of social rejection and perceived groupness. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 958-970.

McNulty, J. K., O'Mara, E. M., & Karney, B. R. (2008). Evaluating Benevolent Cognitions as a Strategy of Relationship Maintenance: "Don't sweat the small stuff - but it's NOT all small stuff." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 631-646.