My research focuses primarily on the psychology of religion, with interests in causal thinking and explanation, perception of agency in self and others, and moral cognition.
I received my B.A. (honours) in Psychology from the University of Winnipeg in 1999, and my Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Harvard University in 2005 . From 2005-2007, I was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Western Ontario, with fellowship support from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada . Since 2007, I have been an assistant professor at the Univeristy of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- Attitudes and Beliefs
- Causal Attribution
- Culture and Ethnicity
- Ethics and Morality
- Social Cognition
Research Group or Laboratory:
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- Dijksterhuis, A., Preston, J., Wegner, D. M., & Aarts, H. (2008). Effects of subliminal priming of self and God on self-attribution of authorship for events. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 2-9.
- Hernandez, I., & Preston, J. L. (2013). Disfluency disrupts the confirmation bias. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 178-182.
- Morewedge, C. K., Preston, J., & Wegner, D. M. (2007). Timescale bias in the attribution of mind. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 1-11.
- Preston, J. (2011). Religion is the opiate of the masses (but science is the methadone). Religion, Brain, & Behavior, 1, 231-233.
- Preston, J., & Epley, N. (2009). Science and God: An automatic opposition between ultimate explanations. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 238-241.
- Preston, J., & Epley, N. (2005). Explanations versus applications: The explanatory power of valuable beliefs. Psychological Science, 16, 826-832.
- Preston, J., Gray, K., & Wegner, D. M. (2006). The Godfather of soul. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 29, 481-482.
- Preston, J. L. & Ritter, R. S. (2013). Different effects of God and religion on prosociality with the ingroup and outgroup. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 1471 - 1483.
- Preston, J. L., Ritter, R. S., & Hepler, J. (2013). Neuroscience and the soul: Competing explanations for the human experience. Cognition, 127, 31-37.
- Preston, J. L., Ritter, R. S., & Hernandez, J. I. (2010). Principles of religious prosociality: A review and reformulation. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 4, 574-590.
- Preston, J., & Wegner, D. M. (2007). The eureka error: Inadvertent plagiarism by misattributions of effort. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 575-585.
- Ritter, R. S., & Preston, J. L. (2013). Representations of religious words: Insights for religious priming research. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 52, 494-507
- Ritter, R. S., & Preston, J. L. (2011). Gross gods and icky atheism: Disgust responses to rejected religious beliefs. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 1225-1230.
- Ritter, R. S., Preston, J. L., & Hernandez, J.I. (2014). Happy Tweets: Christians are happier, more socially connected, and less analytical than Atheists on Twitter. Social Psychological and Personality Science.
- Ritter, R. S., Preston, J. L., Salomon, E. S., & Johnson, D. R. (2015). Imagine no religion: Heretical disgust, anger, and the symbolic purity of mind. Cognition and Emotion. DOI:10.1080/02699931.2015.1030334
- Yang, Y. J., Preston, J. L., & Hernandez, I. (2013). Partisan attitudes toward the Ground Zero Mosque are reduced by high-level construal. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4 (2).
- Preston, J., & Wegner, D. M. (2009). Elbow grease: When action feels like work. In E. Morsella, J. A. Bargh, & P. M. Gollwitzer (Eds.), The psychology of action (Vol. 2, pp. 569-586). New York: Oxford University Press.
- Preston, J., & Wegner, D. M. (2005). Ideal agency: The perception of self as an origin of action. In A. Tesser, J. Wood, & D. Stapel (Eds.), On building, defending, and regulating the self (pp. 103-125). Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press.
- Research Methods in Social Psychology
Berkeley, California 94720
- Fax: (217) 244-5876