Amber Gaffney

Associate Professor & Academic Research Graduate Program Coordinator


Dr. Gaffney received her PhD in social psychology from the Claremont Graduate University in 2014. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Cal Poly Humboldt in 2006. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Michael Hogg at the Claremont Graduate University and has taught and worked at the Claremont Graduate University, Claremont McKenna College, and Pomona College in Claremont, CA and at Whittier College in Whittier, CA. Dr. Gaffney is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at Cal Poly Humboldt, serves as a Associate for Group Processes and Intergroup Relations and is an affiliate member of the Social Identity Lab at the Claremont Graduate University CGU Social Identity Lab and the Group Processes and Leadership Lab at the University of Alberta Alberta Leadership Lab. 

Research: Dr. Gaffney is a social psychologist whose research focuses on social identity, group processes and social influence. Her current work focuses on how prototypical and non-prototypical group members can create and manage uncertainty to enact social change. She has researched minority influence, group polarization, leadership, and attitude change from a social identity and self-categorization perspective. In addition, her work has examined gender stereotypes and leadership and prejudice toward both outgroup and ingroup members. Because Dr. Gaffney is particularly interested in political identities and changing political ideology, her work often focuses on social and political issues. 

Dr. Gaffney teaches by sharing her passion for the study of social issues. She currently teaches social psychology and focuses on teaching both theory and theory development through research and hypothesis generation. As an experimentalist, she teaches experimental and research design in all of her classes to give students a deeper understanding of theory. Her areas of expertise as a social psychologist are in social influence and persuasion, group processes, and self and identity. She is dedicated to providing her students with the tools that they need to be successful in their future careers and to be good members of society. By understanding group processes and social psychology, students can develop an understanding for how people operate in their worlds as well as an appreciation for diversity of thoughts and perspectives.  

For more information about the Social Identity and Social Influence Lab, please go to:  Humboldt SI Lab Website 
Amber Gaffney
(707) 826-4313
BSS 442; Office Hours Tues 2:30pm-4pm and Wed 1pm-2:30pm