Social Psychology Network

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David Sears

David Sears

David O. Sears is Professor of Psychology and Political Science, former Dean of Social Sciences, and current Director of the Institute for Social Science Research at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Sears received his B.A. in History from Stanford University, his Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale University in 1962, and since then has taught at UCLA. He has held visiting faculty positions at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, has been a Fellow at the Brookings Institution and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and a Guggenheim Fellow. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, President of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, and President of the International Society of Political Psychology. He has served on the Boards of Overseers of the National Election Studies and General Social Survey. He has also won the Gordon Allport Prize from SPSSI, Warren E. Miller Award from APSA, and the Harold D. Lasswell Award from ISPP.

Primary Interests:

  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Political Psychology
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping


Journal Articles:

  • Citrin, J., Sears, D. O., Muste, C., & Wong, C. (2001). Multiculturalism in American public opinion. British Journal of Political Science, 31, 247-275.
  • Sears, D. O., Fu, M., Henry, P. J., & Bui, K. (2003). The origins and persistence of ethnic identity among the "new immigrant groups." Social Psychology Quarterly, 66, 419-437.
  • Sears, D. O., & Funk, C. L. (1999). Evidence of the long-term persistence of adults' political predispositions. Journal of Politics, 61, 1-28.
  • Sears, D. O., & Henry, P. J. (2003). The origins of symbolic racism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 259-275.
  • Sears, D. O., & Savalei, V. (2006). The political color line in America: Many peoples of color or black exceptionalism? Political Psychology, 27, 895-924.
  • Sears, D. O., & Valentino, N. A. (1997). Politics matters: Political events as catalysts for preadult socialization. American Political Science Review, 91, 45-65.
  • Sears, D. O., van Laar, C., Carrillo, M., & Kosterman, R. (1997). Is it really racism?: The origins of white Americans' opposition to race-targeted policies. Public Opinion Quarterly, 61, 16-53.
  • Tarman, C., & Sears, D. O. (2005). The conceptualization and measurement of symbolic racism. The Journal of Politics, 67, 731-761.
  • Valentino, N. A., & Sears, D. O. (2005). Old times there are not forgotten: Race and partisan realignment in the contemporary South. American Journal of Political Science, 49, 672-688.

Other Publications:

  • Sears, D. O. (2003). Black-white conflict: A model for the future of ethnic politics in Los Angeles. In D. Halle (Ed.), New York and Los Angeles: Politics, society, and culture: A comparative view. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  • Sears, D. O. (1993). Symbolic politics: A socio-psychological theory. In S. Iyengar & W. J. McGuire (Eds.), Explorations in political psychology. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Sears, D. O., & Henry, P. J. (2005). Over thirty years later: A contemporary look at symbolic racism. In Mark Zanna (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 37, 95-150. San Diego: Elsevier Academic Press.

David Sears
Department of Psychology
1285 Franz Hall, UCLA
Box 951563
Los Angeles, California 90095-1563
United States of America

  • Phone: (310) 825-2160
  • Fax: (310) 206-5895

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