Welcome to the Shoda Lab Website
This lab is a place where graduate students and honors undergraduate students and I pursue a variety of inter-related research projects, in a constructive, supportive and vigorous environment.
I am a Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington. Most of my research is directed at understanding and predicting how a person’s behavior changes from one particular situation to another, and how the way it changes, called behavioral signatures, reflects what’s distinctive about a person. Behaviors change across situations, but behind the change, something important about the person is unchanged, and this unchanging quality is reflected in how the behavior changes. We consider this to be a form of “higher order” consistency, analogous to the notion of “higher order” invariants in mathematics. We think that each person’s behavioral signature reflects her/his “meaning system,” including the categories and concepts through which she or he experiences the social world, and the network of beliefs and values that guide responses to specific social situations.
This approach has led to the development of the Highly Repeated Within Person approach for detecting individual differences in the effects of specific situations without relying on moderator variables (Whitsett & Shoda, 2014), which can also be used to enhance clinical interventions through “quantitative idiography” of each client’s cognitive and affective processing system. Together, these new approaches suggest reconceptualizing the scientific paradigm used in psychology research (Shoda et al., 2014).
My lab engages in a variety of research topics, all related in one way or another to the conceptual core described above. Please read descriptions of the specific projects, and see if you can detect a common thread!
For more information on the University of Washington’s Department of Psychology, please visit their website