Beth A. Pontari
Beth Pontari is a social psychologist whose research
interests address the reality that how people present themselves to
others during social interaction has critical repercussions for their
personal and professional life. She was drawn to this area of
psychology because of the implications that coming across well to
others has on intra- and inter-personal outcomes.
began her career in psychology at Colgate University in Hamilton, New
York where she graduated with a B.A. in psychology. She then attended
the University of Florida in Gainesville where she completed her M.S.
and Ph.D. under the tutelage of Barry Schlenker. Beth’s goal after
obtaining her Ph.D. was to teach at a university similar to Colgate and
provide students with some of the experiences she obtained as an
undergraduate. She is happy to have the opportunity to do this at
Beth’s area of research is
self-presentation and impression management. Her current research
projects span several areas. She is interested in examining the
underlying processes involved in presenting one self to others,
particularly the cognitive effort that may or may not go into
impression management. She is also investigating how presenting
identities to others – even unfamiliar ones – affects self-views, and
how acceptance and validation from others affects this process. A third
area of research addresses how impression management is not something
people do only four themselves That is, Beth studies how friends and
partners may help each other come across well to others. Finally, Beth
applies these areas to better understand those who have difficulty with
self-presentation – the socially anxious. Currently she is examining
two potential coping mechanisms for the socially anxious. One applies
the work she has done on the influence of cognitive distraction on
self-presentation and the other applies how friends’ assistance in
social life may be crucial for socially anxious people to enter into
and navigate social life.
born in Northfield, New Jersey - a town outside of Atlantic City. She
enjoys the beach (especially the Southern New Jersey beaches, of
course) and loves bodysurfing. She is 100% Italian, which may explain
her love of good food and cooking. She happily married David Chastain
on August 14, 2004 in New Jersey. Their first child, Lucia Rose
(“Lucy”) was born on December 27 th, 2007. They live in Greenville and
have two cats, Rosie and Zora.
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Introduction to Psychology (111)
: Fall, Winter, and Spring
Comprehensive introduction to psychology as a behavioral science
through a survey of historical, empirical, and theoretical perspectives
of psychological research. Topics may include biological bases of
behavior, development, learning, personality, cognition, perception,
motivation, behavior disorders, and social psychology.
Experimental and Statistical Method (201 & 202)
Prerequisites: Psychology 111 and a course in mathematics.
: Fall, Winter, and Spring
Introduction to the principles of experimentation, experimental design,
hypothesis testing, and statistical analysis (through factorial
analysis of variance). Designed to acquaint students with the
experimental study of behavior; covers the basic methodological
background necessary for several advanced courses. Lab work, computer
analysis of data, and written reports of lab projects are integral
parts of the course. (Lab fee required.)
If you are considering taking this class in the future, you can see an
example syllabus by clicking on the link above.
Lab Information and Guidelines
Social Psychology (212)
Prerequisites: Psychology 111
Fall and Spring
Study of Individual human behavior as it affects and is affected by
other people in social interaction. Topics include the self, attitudes,
group dynamics, prejudice, interpersonal relationships, impression
formation, attribution, aggression, and prosocial behavior. A group
research project is an important aspect of this course.
Perspectives on Self and Identity (403)
Prerequisites: Psychology 111 and permission of instructor.
vary with each offering and are announced in advance for each course.
May be counted two times toward the 10 - course major.
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