Visiting Scholars

David Reinhard

Dr. David Reinhard has joined the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program in the fall of 2017 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation awarded to Bernhard Leidner. David received his Ph.D. (2017) and M.A. (2014) in Social Psychology from the University of Virginia. Prior, he received his B.A. in Psychology (with High Honors) from the University of Michigan in 2010. He also worked as a lab manager in the Research Center for Group Dynamics at Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. In his primary line of research, he examines how shared competitive (and cooperative) histories influence the way people think about and pursue their goals. He examines competitive histories in intergroup and interpersonal conflicts (by contrasting rivalry from mere competition) and cooperative histories in intragroup alliances (by examining temporal group identities). In another line of work, he examines how people can use their thoughts and attentional focus to change the intensity of emotional events.

In the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program, David examines the consequences of past collective trauma on intergroup relations in the present. He has also started investigating how rivalries can increase conflict escalation between nations, and begun to review and integrate the literature on intractable conflicts with research on the social-cognitive processes underlying rivalries. For this new work on intergroup rivalries, he has just received a grant from the Society of Social and Personality Psychology (SPSP). In the future, he further plans to examine the consequences of highlighting connections between past and present generations of a group for alliance building and cooperation.

Dr. David Reinhard's CV
Personal website:
Lab website:

Christina Rucinski

Dr. Christina Rucinski is a postdoctoral researcher in the Intergroup Relations and Social Justice lab working with Dr. Linda Tropp. She received her Ph.D. (2019) and M.A. (2015) in Applied Developmental Psychology from Fordham University under the mentorship of Dr. Joshua Brown, with a concentration in Development within Family, School, and Neighborhood Contexts. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from Tufts University.

Broadly, Christina’s research examines how social interactions with teachers and peers in educational contexts impact children’s development, with particular attention to educational equity for children from different backgrounds. Her primary line of work has focused on how exposure to racially/ethnically diverse school and classroom composition predicts elementary students’ development in social-emotional, executive function, and cognitive domains, and the possible roles of teacher practices and child characteristics and school belonging in moderating those associations.

Much of Christina’s work is informed by the growing incongruence between a rapidly diversifying population of school-age children and the still-predominantly White teaching force in the U.S. At UMass, Christina is drawing on surveys of K-12 educators to understand psychological and contextual factors that promote teachers’ confidence and effectiveness engaging in race-related discussions with students. She is also currently collaborating with faculty in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the College of Education to deliver and evaluate training in socially-emotionally sensitive and culturally-responsive classroom management approaches among pre-service secondary teachers, with the ultimate aim of decreasing racial disparities in school discipline. Additionally, she is interested in understanding how racial/ethnic match between teachers and students is related to their dyadic relationship quality, from both teacher and child perspectives.

Dr. Christina Rucinski's CV