Leigh Ann Vaughn

Leigh Ann Vaughn

Professor, Department of Psychology
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences

Specialty:Social Psychology
Phone:(607) 274-7353
Office:115A Williams Hall
Ithaca, NY 14850


  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, Social Psychology
  • M.A., University of Michigan, Social Psychology
  • B.A., Smith College, Psychology

I joined the Department of Psychology of Ithaca College in Fall 2001 after serving as a postdoctoral fellow and researcher at the Ohio State University (Columbus, OH).

Research Interests:

For over 10 years, my research team and I have studied how motivational states affect social judgment.  All of the articles I have published with members of my team are on this topic (e.g., Vaughn, Baumann, & Klemmann, 2008; Vaughn, Hesse, Petkova, & Trudeau, 2009; Vaughn, Childs, Maschinski, Niño, & Ellsworth, 2010; Vaughn, Harkness, & Clark, 2010; Vaughn, Dubovi, & Nino, 2013).  The motivational states we have focused on the most are promotion and prevention focus (e.g., Higgins, 1998).  Promotion-focused goal pursuit serves needs for growth and self-realization, and strategies preferred in a promotion focus are eager ones.  Prevention-focused goal pursuit serves needs for security and safety, and strategies preferred in a prevention focus are vigilant ones.  Lately, our research has turned increasingly to what would cause people to adopt a promotion or prevention focus in a given situation or activity, and how these motivational states relate to various aspects of psychological well-being.

Within the past few years, my research team and I also have contributed to the Many Labs research reproducibility projects.  These international, crowdsourced projects examine factors that affect the reproducibility of psychological effects across settings and samples.

Teaching Interests:

  • Social Psychology
  • Personality Psychology
  • Social Judgment Research Team
  • Senior Seminar on Social Cognition

Selected Publications (names of Ithaca College students or alumni are in bold font)

Vaughn, L. A. (2018). Contents of hopes and duties: A linguistic analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1-13.

Vaughn, L.A., (2017). Data from foundational tests of the need-support model: A framework for bridging regulatory focus theory and self-determination theory. Journal of Open Psychology Data, 5, 2.

Vaughn, L. A. (2017). Foundational tests of the need-support model: A framework for bridging regulatory focus theory and self-determination theory. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43, 313-328.

Ebersole, C. R., Atherton, O. E., Belanger, A. L., Skulborstad, H. M., Allen, J. M., Banks, J. B., Baranski, E., Bernstein, M. J., Bonfiglio, D. B. V., Boucher, L., Brown, E. R., Budiman, N. I., Cairo, A. H., Capaldi, C. A., Chartier, C. R., Chung, J. M., Cicero, D. C., Coleman, J. A., Conway, J. G., Davis, W. E., Devos, T., Fletcher, M. M., German, K., Grahe, J. E., Hermann, A. D., Hicks, J. A., Honeycutt, N., Humphrey, B., Janus, B., Johnson, D. J., Joy-Gaba, J. A., Juzeler, H., Keres, A., Kinney, D., Kirshenbaum, J., Klein, R. A., Lucas, R. E., Lustgraaf, C. J. N., Martin, D., Menon, M., Metzger, M., Moloney, J. M., Morse, P. J., Prislin, R., Razza, T., Re, D. E., Rule, N. O., Sacco, D. F., Sauerberger, K., Shrider, E., Shultz, M., Siemsen, C., Sobocko, K., Sternglanz, R. W., Summerville, A., Tskhay, K. O., van Allen, Z., Vaughn, L. A., Walker, R. J., Weinberg, A., Wilson, J. P., Wirth, J. H., Wortman, J., & Nosek, B. A. (2016). Many Labs 3: Evaluating participant pool quality across the academic semester via replication. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 67, 68-82.

Klein, R. A., Ratliff, K. A., Vianello, M., Adams, R. B., Jr., Bahník, Š., Bernstein, M. J., Bocian, K., Brandt, M. J., Brooks, B., Brumbaugh, C. C., Cemalcilar, Z., Chandler, J., Cheong, W., Davis, W. E., Devos, T., Eisner, M., Frankowska, N., Furrow, D., Galliani, E. M., Hasselman, F., Hicks, J. A., Hovermale, J. F., Hunt, S. J., Huntsinger, J. R., IJzerman, H., John, M., Joy-Gaba, J. A., Kappes, H. B., Krueger, L. E., Kurtz, J., Levitan, C. A., Mallett, R., Morris, W. L., Nelson, A. J., Nier, J. A., Packard, G., Pilati, R., Rutchick, A. M., Schmidt, K., Skorinko, J. L., Smith, R., Steiner, T. G., Storbeck, J., Van Swol, L. M., Thompson, D., van’t Veer, A., Vaughn, L. A., Vranka, M., Wichman, A., Woodzicka, J. A., & Nosek, B. A. (2014). Investigating variation in replicability: A “many labs” replication project. Social Psychology, 45, 142–152.

Vaughn, L. A., Dubovi, A. S., & Niño, N. P. (2013). Processing fluency affects behavior more strongly among people higher in trait mindfulness. Journal of Research in Personality, 47, 782–788.

Vaughn, L. A., Childs, K. E., Maschinski, C., Niño, N. P., Ellsworth, R. (2010). Regulatory fit, processing fluency, and narrative persuasion. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 4, 1181–1192.

Vaughn, L. A., Harkness, A. R., & Clark, E. K. (2010). The effect of incidental experiences of regulatory fit on trust. Personal Relationships, 17, 57-69.

Vaughn, L. A., Hesse, S. J., Petkova, Z., & Trudeau, L. (2009). “This story is right on”: The impact of regulatory fit on narrative engagement and persuasion. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39, 447-456.

Vaughn, L. A., Baumann, J., & Klemann, C. (2008). Openness to experience and regulatory focus: Evidence of motivation from fit. Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 886-894.

Vaughn, L. A., Malik, J., Schwartz, S., Petkova, Z., & Trudeau, L. (2006). Regulatory fit as input for stop rules. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 601-611.

Vaughn, L. A., O'Rourke, T., Schwartz, S., Malik, J., Petkova, Z., & Trudeau, L. (2006). When two wrongs can make a right: Regulatory nonfit, bias, and correction of judgments. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 654-661.

Weary, G., Vaughn, L. A., Stewart, B. L., & Edwards, J. E. (2006). Adjusting for the correspondence bias: Effects of causal uncertainty, cognitive busyness, and causal strength of situational information. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 87-94.

Vaughn, L. A., & Weary, G. (2003). Causal uncertainty and correction of judgments. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 516-524.

Schwarz, N. & Vaughn, L. A. (2002). The availability heuristic revisited: Ease of recall and content of recall as distinct sources of information.  In T. Gilovich, D. Griffin, & D. Kahneman (Eds.), Current perspectives on judgment under uncertainty (2nd ed). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Blanchard, F. A., Crandall, C., Brigham, J., & Vaughn, L. A. (1994).  Condemning and condoning racism: A social context approach to interracial settings. Journal of Applied Psychology, 79, 993-997.

Blanchard, F. A., Lilly, T., & Vaughn, L. A. (1991). Reducing the expression of racial prejudice. Psychological Science, 2, 111-115.

Personal Information

I was born and grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, which is a NASA town.  My parents didn't work at NASA, but lots of parents I knew did.  In college, I first went to Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, then I transferred to Smith College in Northampton, MA, where I got my B.A. in psychology.  I was a theater major, then a geology major, and finally a psychology major.  The reason I chose psychology was that it passed the bookstore test: psychology was the part of the bookstore I kept going to.  I got a Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of Michigan, then I did a postdoc in social psychology at The Ohio State University.  If Michigan and Ohio State are playing, I root for the Buckeyes.  I love my job at Ithaca, and I love my husband, who works in Ithaca.  Hiking is my hobby.  I am a first-generation college student.

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