Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

James Dabbs

James Dabbs

[Note: Professor James Dabbs died of cancer in August of 2004 after serving as a member of the Georgia State University Department of Psychology for more than 30 years. Social Psychology Network is maintaining this profile for visitors who wish to learn more about Professor Dabbs' work.]

I received my Ph.D. degree from Yale University in 1962. I am currently professor of psychology and head of the social/cognitive program at Georgia State University. My research deals with social behavior and personality. Much of this research falls in the area between psychology and biology.

In social psychology I have studied spatial behavior, crowding, physical attractiveness, persuasion, nonverbal communication, turn-taking in conversations, acquaintanceship, and interpersonal violence. My personality research has employed traditional and nontraditional measures and has emphasized sex differences, including differences in communication and spatial activity. I have related individual differences in personality and cognitive style to hormonal differences, especially involving testosterone. I assay testosterone from saliva, and the findings support a bio-social model. In this model, hormones affect individual expressions of behavior ranging from frowns and smiles to violent crime, but the role of hormones is limited by socialization forces from family, school and community.

I use novel methods of collecting and analyzing data. Some of my research involves archival sources of data, and some is conducted in such settings outside the university as prisons, law offices, fire departments, construction sites, strip clubs, and sports arenas.

Primary Interests:

  • Aggression, Conflict, Peace
  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Communication, Language
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Neuroscience, Psychophysiology
  • Nonverbal Behavior
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Research Methods, Assessment


  • Van Maanen, J., Dabbs, J. M., Jr., & Faulkner, R. F. (1982). Varieties of qualitative research. Beverly Hills: Sage.

Journal Articles:

  • Bernhardt, P. C., Dabbs, J. M., Jr., Fielden, J., & Lutter, C. (In press). Changes in testosterone levels during vicarious experiences of winning and losing among fans at sporting events. Physiology and Behavior.
  • Bernhardt, P. C., Dabbs, J. M., Jr., & Riad, J. K. (1996). Pupillometry system for use in social psychology. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 28, 61-66.
  • Dabbs, J. M., Jr. (In press). Testosterone and the concept of dominance. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
  • Dabbs, J. M., Jr. (1997). Testosterone and pupillary response to auditory sexual stimuli. Physiology and Behavior, 62, 909-912.
  • Dabbs, J. M., Jr. (1997). Testosterone, smiling, and facial appearance. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 21, 45-55.
  • Dabbs, J. M., Jr., Alford, E. C., & Fielden, J. A. (1998). Trial lawyers: Blue collar talent in a white collar world. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 28, 84-94.
  • Dabbs, J. M., Jr., Carr, T. S., Frady, R. L., & Riad, J. K. (1995). Testosterone, crime, and misbehavior among 692 male prison inmates. Personality and Individual Differences, 18, 627-633.
  • Dabbs, J. M., Jr., Chang, E., Strong, R. A., & Milun, R. (1998). Spatial ability, navigation strategy, and geographic knowledge among men and women. Human Behavior and Evolution, 19, 89-98.
  • Dabbs, J. M., Jr., & Hargrove, M. F. (1997). Age, testosterone, and behavior among female prison inmates. Psychosomatic Medicine, 59, 477-480.
  • Dabbs, J. M., Jr., Hargrove, M. F., & Heusel, C. (1996). Testosterone differences among college fraternities: Well-behaved vs. rambunctious. Personality and Individual Differences, 20, 157-161.

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