Psychology Department

Kathryn C. Oleson

Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Psychology

Email | 503-517-7498

Social psychology, interpersonal relations, social cognition

Curriculum Vitae
Student Perception Project

Education and Professional Positions

1989, B.A., Psychology, University of Kansas
1993, Ph.D., Social Psychology, Princeton University
1993-1995, NIMH Postdoctoral Fellow, Ohio State University
1995-2000, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Reed College
2000-2008, Associate Professor of Psychology, Reed College
2008-present, Professor of Psychology, Reed College
2004-2006, 2007-2009, Department Head, Department of Psychology, Reed College
2014-2016, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, Reed College


I teach a range of courses including Introduction to Psychology, Research Design and Data Analysis, Social Psychology, and a number of upper level seminars in Social Psychology – Interpersonal Perception, Stereotyping and Prejudice, and The Social Self. I seek to actively involve students in the learning process and to help them develop important skills in writing, research, and critical thinking. In my courses, students are engaged with research design and implementation that involves the collection and analysis of new data. (Follow links to course descriptions for additional details.)

PSY 122 Introduction to Psychology II
PSY 322 Social Psychology
PSY 325 Stereotyping and Prejudice
PSY 355 Interpersonal Perception
PSY 348 Research Design and Data Analysis
PSY 422 The Social Self


Much of my research has examined the reactions of students' social selves in challenging academic contexts, concentrating on self-doubt, achievement goals, academic procrastination, and behavioral strategies. Currently, my primary research project is exploring ways to make the college classroom more inclusive, with a particular focus on classroom dynamics. I am conducting both qualitative and quantitative research exploring perceptions and classroom experiences. My focus is on undergraduate students and faculty members' understanding of unproductive and productive discomfort, safety, and learning to provide a richer understanding of the complicated dynamics that occur in the classroom environment. A website for my book on inclusive classroom dynamics, including my current research on discomfort, safety, and learning is at

Selected Recent Publications

(Reed student co-authors bolded)

See CV for complete publications list [PDF]

Oleson, K. C. & Swanson, S. A. (2024). Reviewing and evaluating a research article. In F.T. L. Leong & J. T. Austin (Eds.), The psychology research handbook: A guide for graduate students and research assistants, third edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Carroll, P. J., Rios, K., & Oleson, K. C. (2024). Handbook of the uncertain self, second edition. In preparation, Routledge.

Oleson, K. C. (2021). Promoting inclusive classroom dynamics in higher education: A research-based pedagogical guide for faculty. Stylus Publishing.

Westgate, E.C., Wormington, S.V., Oleson, K. C., & Lindgren, K. P. (2017). Productive procrastination: Academic procrastination style predicts academic and alcohol outcomes. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 47(3), 124 – 135.

Oleson, K.C., & Hovakimyan, K. (2017). Reflections on developing the Student Consultants for Teaching and Learning Program at Reed College. International Journal for Students as Partners, 1(1), 1–8.

Nario-Redmond, M. R., & Oleson, K.C. (2016). Disability group identification and disability- rights advocacy: Contingencies among emerging and other adults. Emerging Adulthood, 4(3), 207–218.

Oleson, K.C. (2016). Introduction – Collaborating to develop and improve classroom teaching: Student-Consultant for Teaching and Learning Program at Reed College, Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education, 17.

Grahe, J.E., Reifman, A., Hermann, A., Walker, M., Oleson, K.C., Nario-Redmond, M., & Wiebe, R. P. (2012). Harnessing the undiscovered resource of student research projects. Perspectives in Psychological Science, 7(6), 600-602.

Casey, C. M., Wormington, S. V., & Oleson, K.C. (2012). Promoting comfort and confidence with conducting research through a pluralistic ignorance project. Teaching of Psychology, 39, 293–296.

Braslow, M. D., Guerretaz, J., Arkin, R. M., & Oleson, K. C. (2012). Self-Doubt. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 6, 470–482.

Neuringer, A. & Oleson, K. C. (2010). Helping for change. The Behavior Analyst, 181–184.

Files, J. S., Casey, C. M., & Oleson, K. C. (2010). Intergroup bias in children: Development and persistence. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 671–678.

Arkin, R. M., Oleson, K. C.  & Carroll, P. J.  (Eds.) (2010). Handbook of The Uncertain Self. New York: Taylor and Francis.

Oleson, K. C. & Steckler, M. T. (2010). The phenotypic expressions of self-doubt about ability in academic contexts: Strategies of self-handicapping and subjective overachievement. In R. M. Arkin, K.C. Oleson, & P. J. Carroll (Eds.) Handbook of The Uncertain Self. New York: Taylor and Francis.