Culture Lab


Lab Director

Michele J. Gelfand

Michele Gelfand is a Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and affiliate of the RH Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her Ph.D. in Social/ Organizational Psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

Graduate Student

Xinyue Pan 

Xinyue is a third-year graduate student working with Dr. Gelfand. She gained her bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Economics from Peking University. She is currently working on multiple projects including cross-cultural differences on tightness-looseness, stigma processing, social norm, and punishment, using both behavioral and neuroscience methods. She is also using evolutionary game theoretic models to study the change of social norm and the evolution of gossip and ethnocentrism.

Graduate Student

Virginia Choi

Virginia is a second year graduate student working with Dr. Gelfand. She grew up in Southern California and graduated from Smith College with a BA in Philosophy. She researches the influence of culture and social norms on organizational processes, individual evaluations, and phenomena like stigma. More generally, she is interested in the function and establishment of norms and the factors that influence norm change.

Affiliated Lab Member

Jessica Fernandez

Jess is a fourth year graduate student in the Social, Decision and Organizational Sciences program. She received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Gettysburg College. Her general research interests include thought processes and self-regulation, social identity and norms, and group interactions.

Affiliated Lab Member

Piotr Prokopowicz

Piotr is an Assistant Professor at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, specializing in organizational culture, leadership, innovation, and evidence-based management. He holds a PhD in sociology and a double MA in psychology and sociology. He’s a co-founder at Freenovation, speaker, author, and talent management consultant. As a researcher, he’s exploring the links between cultural tightness-looseness, leadership, creativity, and innovation.

Affiliated Lab Member

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Andrey Elster

Andrey received his PhD in Organizational Behavior from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) in 2016. He is interested in understanding how personal values affect perception and behavior in the interpersonal as well as in organizational contexts. Currently Andrey is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland working with Dr. Michele Gelfand on the bidirectional relationships between cultural tightness-looseness and trust.

Lab Manager

Emmy Denison

Emmy is the lab manager in the Culture Lab. She graduate from Purdue University in 2018 with a BS in psychology. Her research interests include topics related to diversity and inclusion, stereotyping and prejudice, and free speech. She is interested in exploring how social norms and attitudes regarding these topics vary across social groups and cultures. 

The Gelfand Gang

Our Undergraduate Research Assistants

Artista Baker

Emily Blume

Emily Dietz

Jenny Niedenfuehr

Allison Seo

Skyler Su

Liuxin Yan