Kathryn C. Oleson
Dean of Faculty, Professor of Psychology
Social psychology, interpersonal relations, social cognition
Department of Psychology
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202
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.)
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 on my current research on discomfort, safety, and learning will be on-line later this academic year.
Selected Recent Publications
(Reed student co-authors bolded)
Oleson, K.C. (2020). Promoting inclusive classroom dynamics in higher education: A research-based pedagogical guide for faculty. Book forthcoming, 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.