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For the Spring semester, The Department of Psychology will be open Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 4 pm, and Friday from 10 am to 3 pm. Advising will be conducted through email and MS Teams. For general questions, please contact us at (817-272-2281)

The University of Texas at ArlingtonThe University of Texas at Arlington


Dr. William Ickes

Social Interaction Lab



William Ickes is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is a coeditor of the three-volume series New Directions in Attribution Research and the author of Everyday Mind Reading (2003) and Strangers in a Strange Lab (2009). His research on empathic accuracy has received three international research awards.  


Current Graduate Students

Meghan Babcock


I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Social Interaction Lab. My current research is focused on the psychology of test-taking and I am particularly interested in the effect of item characteristics on scale reliability and participant misresponse rates.

Publications / Chapters

  1. Russell, E. M., Babcock, M. J., Lewis, D. M. G., Ta, V. P., & Ickes, W. (in press). Why attractive women want gay male friends: A previously undiscovered strategy to prevent mating deception and sexual exploitation.Personality and Individual Differences.
  2. Russell, E. M., Ta, V. P., Lewis, D. M. G., Babcock. M. J., & Ickes, W. (2017). Why (and when) straight women trust gay men: Ulterior mating motives and female competition. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46, 763-773.
  3. Ta, V. P., Babcock, M. J., Ickes, W. (2017). Developing latent semantic similarity in initial, unstructured interactions: The words may be all you need. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 36, 143-166.
  4. Hamby, T., Ickes, W., & Babcock, M. J. (2016). Evidence for context switching in the effects of average item length and item-length variability on internal consistency. Journal of Personality Assessment, 98, 491-502.
  5. Park, A., Robinson, R. L., & Babcock, M. J., & Ickes, W. (2016). Behavioral validation of the rudeness scale: Evidence from retrospective and prospective research. Journal of Aggression, Conflict, and Peace Research, 8, 33-45.
  6. Babcock, M. J., Ta, V. P., & Ickes, W. (2014). Latent semantic similarity and language style matching in initial dyadic interactions. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 33, 78-88.
  7. Babcock, M. J., Park, A., & Ickes, W. (2013). Identifying hotheads: Measuring affect intensity for anger and frustration. In M. G. Penrod, and S. N. Paulk (Eds.), Psychology of Anger: New Research (pp. 121-132). New York: Nova Science Publishers. 

Rebecca Robinson


I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Social Interaction Lab. My research interests include social cognition, attitudes, and individual differences. My primary research has focused on investigating the differences in the magnitude and effects of cognitive dissonance involving various types of attitudes.

Publications / Papers

Park, A., & Robinson, R. L., & Ickes, W. (2013). More f#!%ing rudeness:  Reliable personality predictors of verbal rudeness and other ugly confrontational behaviors.  Manuscript submitted for publication.

Robinson, R. L., Navea, R., & Ickes, W. (2013). Predicting final course performance from students' written self-introductions: A LIWC analysis. Journal of Language and Social Psychology. doi: 10.1177/0261927X13476869

Cuperman, R., Robinson, R. L., & Ickes, W. (2012). On the malleability of self-image in individuals with a weak sense of self. Self and Identity, doi:10.1080/15298868.2012.726764

Ickes, W., Park, A., & Robinson, R. L. (2012). F#!%ing rudeness: Predicting the propensity to verbally abuse strangers. Journal of Language & Social Psychology31(1), 75–94.

Robinson, R. L. (2011). Embeddedness versus isolation in dissonance- induced attitude change. (Master’s thesis). ProQuest document ID: 896956568


Eric Russell


I am currently a third-year graduate student in the Social Interaction Lab. I earned my B.S. in Psychology from Texas Christian University, and I was a visiting researcher in the Buss Lab at UT Austin for one year prior to entering graduate school. I am currently developing a line of experimental research focusing on the close relationship between straight women and gay men. Specifically, my master’s thesis is examining the unique behavioral patterns in initial interactions between gay male-straight female dyads. My other research interests include close relationships and friendships, evolutionary psychology, mate attraction, mating strategies, and personality psychology. Visit my research blog at

Publications / Papers

Lewis, D.M.G., Al-Shawaf, L., Russell, E.M., & Buss, D.M. (under review). Lumbar curvature as a novel standard of attractiveness? A replication attempt and more discriminative tests. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Russell, E.M., Ta, V.P., Lewis, D.M.G., Babcock, M.J., & Ickes, W. (revise-resubmit). Why (and when) straight women trust gay men: Ulterior mating motives and female competition. Revision submitted for publication.

Lewis, D. M. G., Russell, E. M., Al-Shawaf, L., & Buss, D. M. (2015). Lumbar curvature: A previously undiscovered standard of attractiveness. Evolution and Human Behavior36, 345-350.

Lewis, D.M.G., Al-Shawaf, L., Russell, E.M., & Buss, D.M. (2015). Friends and happiness: An evolutionary perspective on friendship. In M. Demir (Ed.), Friendship and Happiness (pp. 37-57). Netherlands: Springer.

Russell, E. M., DelPriore, D. J., Butterfield, M. E., & Hill, S. E. (2013). Friends with benefits, but without the sex: Straight women and gay men exchange trustworthy mating advice. Evolutionary Psychology11, 132-147.


Vivian Ta


I am a 5th year Ph.D. candidate. In my primary area of research, I use a combination of computational techniques (e.g., Latent Semantic Analysis) and text analysis to study the influence of language and communication patterns in social psychological dynamics, such as the development of mutual understanding, conflict, negotiations, and relationships. My secondary area of research focuses on the sociodemographic factors, personality traits, and evolutionary mechanisms that are involved in interpersonal relationships. Quantitative skills include meta-analysis, multilevel modeling, dyadic data analysis, and other multivariate statistics. I am a NSF LSAMP BD Fellow, previous president of UT Arlington’s Graduate Student Senate, and former market research intern at For more information, visit my website:

Publications / Papers

Ta, V.P., Babcock, M.J., & Ickes, W. (2017). Developing latent semantic similarity in initial,

unstructured interactions: The words may be all you need. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 35(3), 1-24.

Babcock, M. J., Ta, V.P., & Ickes, W. (2014). Latent semantic similarity and language style matching in initial dyadic interactions. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 33(1), 78-88.

Ta, V.P., & Ickes, W. Latent semantic similarity in initial computer-mediated interactions: Moderating effects of time, gender composition, and extraversion. Under review at Computers and Human Behavior.

Ta, V.P. (in press). A meta-analytic review of gender-role dimensions and relationship satisfaction. Journal of Relationships Research.

Ta, V.P., Gesselman, A.N., Perry, B., Fisher, H., & Garcia, J. (2017). Stress of singlehood:  Marital status, domain-specific stress, and anxiety in a national U.S. sample. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 36(6), 461-485.
Russell, E., Ickes, W., & Ta, V.P. (in press). Women Interact More Comfortably and Intimately with Gay Men—But Not Straight Men—After Learning Their Sexual Orientation. Psychological Science. 

Russell, E., Babcock, M., Lewis, D., Ta, V., & Ickes, W. (2016). Why attractive women want gay male friends: A novel strategy to prevent competitive deception and sexual exploitation. Personality and Individual Differences.            

Russell, E., Ta, V., Lewis, D.M.G., Babcock, M., & Ickes, W. (2015). Why (and when) straight women trust gay men: Ulterior mating motives and female competition. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(3), 763-773.


Maryam Tajmirriyahi


I am a first-year Experimental Psychology Ph.D. student, and I am working in Social Interaction lab under Dr. William Ickes. I received my M.A. in General psychology at Shahdi Beheshti University in Tehran, Iran. My primary research interest is focused on social cognition, social behavior, and mind reading, and I hope to uncover underlying mechanisms of empathy and social cognition.

Publications / Papers

Nejati, V., Tajmirriyahi, M., & Pouretemad, V. (in press). Gaze orienting in parents of children with autism spectrum disorders: Evidence from gaze cueing paradigm. Journal of Current Psychology.

Nejati, V., Tajmirriyahi, M., Mansuri-Sepehr, R., & Golpaygani, S. (2014). Factor structure and validation of broad autism phenotype questionnaire (BAPQ) and comparing psychometric structures of it with autism quotient (AQ). Journal of Research in Behavioral Science11(6). IN PERSIAN.

Tajmirriyahi, M., Nejtai, V., Pouretemad, H., & Mansuri-Sepehr, R. (2013). Reading the mind in eyes and voice in parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders7(12), 1543–1550.

Links to Social Interaction Resources