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David Sanbonmatsu, Ph.D.

David Sanbonmatsu, Ph.D.

Professor, Social Psychology

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

Office: 702 BEHS
Phone: 801-581-8505

Research Interests

I am fortunate to have worked with a number of tremendous scholars who are leaders in their fields. I have been able to study illusory correlation with Jim Sherman, attitude familiarity with Bert Uchino, selective hypothesis testing and missing information with Steve Posavac and Frank Kardes, gambling with Bryan Gibson, and multi-tasking with Dave Strayer. I have also had the privilege of working with a number of terrific graduate students over the years including Sharon Akimoto, Ed Ho, Sam Vanous, Dominika Mazur, Shannon Moore, Arwen Behrends, Zhenghui Yu, and Hanna Cooley. I am especially grateful to have developed as a researcher under the mentorship of Russ Fazio.

Much of our current research is concerned with the basic processes through which decisions are made. We have begun investigating the dynamics of sequential decision making in interpersonal contexts.

Recently, I have collaborated with Bill Johnston, Jon Butner, Bert Uchino, Steve Posavac, and my graduate students on a number of papers on the science of science. Our work is helping to broaden our understanding of science and the differences between scientific disciplines.

Opportunities For Students

We are not in need of undergraduate research assistants at this time.

I am no longer recruiting graduate students to work under my supervision.


Ph.D., Indiana University (1987)
B.S., University of California-Davis (1979)

Selected Publications

Moore, S. M., Behrends, A. A., Mazur, D., and Sanbonmatsu, D. M. (2016). When do people bet on their selves? The role of global vs. specific self-concepts in decision making. Self and Identity, 15(5), 548-560. DOI: 10.1080/15298868.2016.1175372 

Sanbonmatsu, D. M., Cooley, E. H., & Posavac, S. S. (2023). The institutional impact of research challenges and constraints on psychology and other social and behavioral sciences. New Ideas in Psychology, 70(8), 101014.

Sanbonmatsu, D. M., Cooley, E. H., & Butner, J. E. (2021). The impact of complexity on methods and findings in psychological science. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 1-16.

Sanbonmatsu, D. M., & Johnston, W. A. (2019). Redefining science: The impact of complexity on theory development in social and behavioral research. Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Sanbonmatsu, D. M., Mazur, D., Behrends, A. A., & Moore, S. M. (2015). The role of the frequency of correspondent behavior and trait stereotypes in trait attribution: Building on Rothbart and Park (1986). Social Cognition, 33, 255-283.

Sanbonmatsu, D. M., Strayer, D. L., Biondi, F., Behrends, A. A., & Moore, S. M. (2015). Cell Phone Use Diminishes Self-Awareness of Impaired Driving. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. doi: 10.3758/s13423-015-0922-4.

Sanbonmatsu, D. M., Strayer, D. L., Medeiros-Ward, N., and Watson, J. M. (2013). Who multi-tasks and why? Multi-tasking ability, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. PLoS ONE, 8(1), e54402. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054402

Sanbonmatsu, D. M., Uchino, B. N., Wong, K. K., & Seo, J. Y. (2012). Getting along better: The role of attitude familiarity in relationship functioning. Social Cognition, 30, 350-361. 

My Current Graduate Students

Hanna Cooley

Last Updated: 2/20/24