Dolores Albarracín (PSC Research Associate) contributed to a new COVID-19 Roadmap entitled "Getting to and Sustaining the Next Normal: A Roadmap for Living With COVID", which provides new key strategic recommendations for Americans living with COVID.
Dolores Albarracín (PSC Research Associate) was featured in Penn Today for her new book, Creating Conspiracy Beliefs: How Our Thoughts Are Shaped. Analyzing empirical research conducted on real-world examples of false plots, the authors pinpoint two factors that have driven recent widespread conspiracy theories: the conservative media and societal fear and anxiety. Albarracín has researched what happens when fringe ideas become consequential for society. “That’s what we’re seeing with conspiracy theories today. Nobody can deny now that these are wildly impactful and really problematic,” Albarracín says.
Dolores Albarracín (PSC Research Associate) was quoted in a Rolling Stone article about political conspiracy theories. “Conspiracy theories are powerful because they introduce premises that prevent evidence-based falsification. For a realistic style of thinking, if there is no evidence for a belief, the lack of evidence invalidates the belief. Conspiracy theories undermine this logic and make it so that lack of evidence or evidence to the contrary proves the belief.”
Dolores Albarracín studies the impact of communication and persuasion on human behavior and the formation of beliefs, attitudes, and goals, particularly those that are socially beneficial. In addition to an interest in basic attitudinal processes, she is interested in finding ways of intervening to promote public health.
Dolores Albarracín is a Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor, and a renowned scholar in the fields of attitudes, communication, and behavior. Albarracín was born in Argentina, received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 1997, and was previously a tenured professor at the University of Florida and at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Albarracín has published close to 200 journal articles and book chapters in leading scientific outlets, including the leading outlets of psychology, health, and science, and has had an important impact on national health communication policy. Her research is an unusual combination of basic and applied psychology.
Albarracín was the 2018 inaugural recipient of the Award for Outstanding Scientific Contributions to Research on Attitudes and Social Influence and the 2020 Diener Award to Outstanding Mid-Career Contributions in Social Psychology from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. She is also the 2019 recipient of the Avant-Garde Award, National Institute of Drug Abuse, which supports individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose high-impact, bold basic research that will open new areas of HIV/AIDS research and/or lead to new avenues for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS among people who use drugs. She has been elected President of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and is a fellow of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Health Psychology. She was Editor-in-chief of Psychological Bulletin between 2014 and 2020.
Albarracín is the author of six books, including The Handbook of Attitudes (Routledge, 2018). Her 2021 book published by Cambridge University Press integrates her theoretical and applied contributions and is titled Action and Inaction in a Social World: Prediction and Change of Attitudes and Behaviors. Her upcoming book is titled Creating Conspiracy Beliefs: How about Thoughts are Formed (Cambridge University Press). Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation and, according to Google Scholar, has been cited over 20,000 times.