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Sasha Kimel

Sasha Kimel

Assistant Professor, Psychology

Office: SBSB 3214

Sasha Kimel

Sasha Y. Kimel, Ph.D. (University of Michigan). Dr. Sasha Kimel is a social and cultural psychologist. She joined the Psychology Department at California State University, San Marcos in Fall 2018 as an Assistant Professor of Psychology. Beforehand, Dr. Kimel was at Harvard University where she was a Harvard College Fellow, a postdoctoral fellow and a lecturer. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan. Her psychological research on intergroup conflict and culture draws on her background in public policy as well as her experience working at the United Nations and non-profits focused on international conflict resolution. She has lived in Canada, Japan, Singapore and Israel/Palestine. 

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Academic Positions   

Psychology Department, Harvard University  (2013 - 2018) 

  • Harvard College Fellowship, Postdoctoral Fellowship & Lecturer


Ph.D. in Social Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor   (2013)                 

  • 2011 – 13, Science, Technology & Public Policy Certificate
  • 2008 – 09, Culture & Cognition Certificate

B.A. in Psychology, University of British Columbia  (2005)                     

  • 2004 – 05, UCLA (Visiting Student)
  • 2003 – 04, National University of Singapore (Exchange Student)        




Peer-Reviewed Publications

*student co-authors

Kimel, S.Y., Mischkowski, D., Miyagawa, Y., Niiya, Y. (In Press). Left Out But “In Control”? Culture Variations in Feelings of Control when Excluded by a Close-Other. Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Tsai, W. & Kimel, S.Y. (In Press). When and How Supporting Others Can Improve Life Satisfaction: A Longitudinal Study Examining Collectivistic Values.Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. ​

Cousar, K.A.*, Carnes, N.C. & Kimel, S.Y. (In Press). Morality as Fuel for Violence? Disentangling the Role of Religion in Violent Conflict. Social Cognition.

Uenal, F., Bergh, R., Sidanius, J., Zick, A., Kimel, S.Y. & Kunst, J. (In Press). The nature of Islamophobia: A test of a tripartite view in five countries. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

Kunst, J. R., Kimel, S.Y., Alayan, R., & Thomsen, L. (2018).  Can Abraham Bring Peace? The Relationship between Acknowledging Shared Religious Roots and Intergroup Conflict. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

Kunst, J., Boos, B., Kimel S.Y., Obaidi, M, Shani, M., & Thomsen, L. (2018). Extreme activism supporting others' political struggles: The role of politically motivated out-group fusion. PLOS ONE.

Kimel, S.Y., Mischkowski, D., Uchida, Y. & Kitayama, S. (2017). Culture, Emotions & The Cold Shoulder:
Cultural Differences in the Anger and Sadness Response to Ostracism. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.

Kimel, S.Y., Huesmann, L.R., Kunst, J. & Halperin, E. (2016). Living in a Genetic World: How Learning about Interethnic Genetic Similarities and Differences Affects Peace and Conflict. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.  

  • Featured in The Washington Post

Kimel, S.Y., Lopez-Duran, N. & Kitayama, S. (2015). Physiological Correlates of Choice-Induced Dissonance:  An Exploration of HPA-Axis Responses. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. 28 (4). 309-316.

 McDonald, M., Porat, R., Yarkoney, A., Reifen Tagar, M., Kimel, S., Saguy, T., & Halperin, E. (2015). Intergroup emotional similarity reduces dehumanization and promotes conciliatory attitudes in prolonged conflict. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations20(1), 125-136.

Kimel, S.Y., Grossmann, I. & Kitayama, S. (2012). When Gift-giving Produces Dissonance: Effects of Subliminal Affiliation Priming on Choices for One’s Self versus Close Others. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 48(5), 1221-1224.

Qin, J., Kimel, S.Y., Kitayama, S., Wang, X., Yang, X. & Han, S. (2011). How Choices Modify Preferences: Neural Correlates of Choice Justification. NeuroImage, 55(1). 240-246

Other Publications

Hudson, S. & Kimel, S.Y. (2018). New Racism. In: Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social Theory. Turner B.S. (Ed); Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Kimel, S.Y. & Kunst, J. (2016). Can DNA Ancestry Testing Make You More Racist? Scientific American.


  • Multicultural Perspectives in Psychology  (PSYC 341)
  • Social Psychology Lab (PSYC 396)
  • Social Psychology (PSYCH 332)





Kimel Lab

To find out more about Dr. Kimel's research and how to join her Culture & Intergroup Relations Lab, please visit:

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