Department of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara
Hunter Gehlbach is Associate Professor in the Department of Education. An educational psychologist by training, a social psychologist at heart, his primary interests lie in improving the social side of schools. Primarily, he aims to bolster teachers’ and students’ social perspective taking capacities – how they understand each others' thoughts and feelings – to improve teacher-student relationships. However, a recent NSF-funded study explored another area of social psychology: similarity. By helping teachers and students get to know each other better, his research team’s intervention closed one school’s achievement gap by over 60%.
In addition to this substantive interest, he helps social scientists and practitioners design better questionnaires. Through projects funded by Survey Monkey and Panorama Education, he has explored how schools might use surveys to improve teacher and student outcomes. He has written about his substantive and methodological interests for outlets ranging from Journal of Educational Psychology and Psychological Assessment to Huffington Post and Education Week.
He holds degrees from Swarthmore College (B.A.), the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (M.Ed. in school counseling), and Stanford (M.A. in social psychology and Ph.D. in educational psychology). He also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Connecticut. A former high school social studies teacher and coach, Gehlbach currently serves on the editorial board of Educational Psychology Review and Educational Psychologist and is a member of the Questionnaire Standing Committee for the National Assessment of Educational Progress.