Benjamin Converse headshot
BC

Benjamin A. Converse

Associate Professor
Unit: Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
Department: Frank Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy
Office location and address
Garrett L001
235 McCormick Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
Education
Ph.D., Managerial and Organizational Behavior, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business (Center for Decision Research), 2010
B.A., Psychological and Brain Sciences, High Honors, Dartmouth College, 2004
Biography

I am an assistant professor of public policy and psychology, with appointments in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and the Department of Psychology. 

I study social psychology and the psychology of judgment and decision making. I investigate basic psychological processes – such as motivation, social judgment, and inferences about others’ mental states – that have critical implications for management, leadership, and policy.

Much of my work focuses on the question of how people achieve personal and group goals in a social world. With my lab group, the Social Behavior and Decisions Lab, and other collaborators, I am investigating questions such as: How do social judgments and evaluations change when people view collaborative efforts as a means to achievement versus as goals in themselves? How do the achievements of individuals’ groups affect their personal goal pursuit? How do people get beyond their own psychological perspectives to infer others’ thoughts, feelings, and opinions about the world? When and how can social exchange occur effectively and efficiently?

We are particularly concerned with how individual thought processes lead to decisions and behaviors that promote or undermine stable social systems. Research areas: social judgment, motivation and self-regulation, social exchange, perspective taking, and decision making.

Resolving the "Urgent-Important" Conflict to Promote Purposeful Goal Pursuit
Source: University Of Chicago
April 01, 2013 – June 20, 2015
PSYC 3590: Research in Psychology
Credits: 2–3
An original experimental project is undertaken in which each student is responsible for the design and operation of the experiment. S/U grading. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: 14 credits of psychology and instructor permission.
PSYC 4970: Distinguished Major Thesis
A two-semester course in which the student prepares a thesis under the supervision of a departmental faculty member. The thesis may be based on empirical research conducted by the student or a critical review or theoretical analysis of existing findings. Prerequisite: Participants in the Distinguished Majors Program in Psychology. Enrollment Requirement: You are required to register for PSYC 3870.
PSYC 4980: Distinguished Major Thesis
Credits: 6
A two-semester course in which the student prepares a thesis under the supervision of a departmental faculty member. The thesis may be based on empirical research conducted by the student or a critical review or theoretical analysis of existing findings. Prerequisite: Participants in the Distinguished Majors Program in Psychology.
PPOL 7055: Strategies and Processes of Negotiation
Credits: 3
This course examines the art and science of negotiation. The science of negotiation involves learning to recognize the structure of a conflict situation and knowing what techniques tend to be most effective given that structure. Because there is no substitute for negotiating experience, this class will rely heavily on role-playing exercises and analyses designed to help students develop their own styles and learning the art of negotiation.
LPPL 7410: Psychology for Leadership
Credits: 3
Leading requires an understanding of one's own and others' thoughts, feelings, attitudes, motivations, and determinants of behavior. This course will use lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and group interactions to provide an introduction to theory and research in behavioral science. The goals of the course are to provide conceptual knowledge that helps students understand and manage their own unique and complicated leadership interactions.
PPOL 7410: Psychology for Leadership
Credits: 3
Leading requires an understanding of one's own and others' thoughts, feelings, attitudes, motivations, and determinants of behavior. This course will use lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and group interactions to provide an introduction to theory and research in behavioral science. The goals of the course are to provide conceptual knowledge that helps students understand and manage their own unique and complicated leadership interactions.
PSYC 8998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Thesis
Credits: 1–12
For master's research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.
PSYC 9501: Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
Independent laboratory research undertaken with advisor. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory and can be repeated. Instructor permission required.
PSYC 9502: Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
Independent laboratory research undertaken with advisor. Graded and can be repeated. Instructor permission required.
PSYC 9998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.
PSYC 9999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral dissertation, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.