Profile for Kevin Zabel

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Specialty area(s)

Social Psychology

Social Cognition


Brief biography

Kevin Zabel earned his B.A. in Psychology and Economics & Management from Albion College in Albion, MI. He completed his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology (Social concentration) at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN.

Prior to joining the psychology faculty at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse in Fall 2019, Dr. Zabel served as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Western New England University in Springfield, MA for four years. In that position, he advised students, taught multiple courses (e.g., Introduction to Psychology, First-Year Seminar for Psychology Majors, Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, Research Methods, Cognitive Psychology, Social Psychology,  Multicultural Psychology). He also frequently involved students in his psychology research endeavors.

Dr. Zabel has research interests in social psychology and social cognition, and applies these approaches to attitude-behavior processes, interracial interactions, and diversity efforts. One line of research is focused on better understanding the contexts in which people's attitudes toward social groups predict their judgments and behaviors toward individuals of these groups, as well as the roles that motivation and opportunity (i.e., time, mental resources) play in these processes. A second line of research is focused on content strategies (i.e., what topics individuals prefer to discuss) in interracial interactions, as well as the psychological consequences that occur when these preferences are violated by interaction partners. An emerging line of research is focused on examining situational factors that may reduce the threat of multiculturalism and diversity efforts among majority group members.

Current courses at UWL

Social Psychology (PSY 241)

Prejudice and Stigma (PSY 443)


Ph.D., University of Tennessee (Experimental Psychology with a Social Concentration; 2015)

M.A., University of Tennessee (Experimental Psychology; 2012)

B. A., Albion College (Psychology and Economics & Management; 2009)

Professional history

Western New England University: Assistant Professor of Psychology (2015-2019)



Kevin Zabel, Psychology, presented "The Impact of Valenced Uniqueness and Similarity Feelings on Diversity Support and Internal Motivation to Control Prejudice" at The Society for Personality and Social Psychology's Annual Convention on Feb. 29 in New Orleans, LA. This research was presented with two student collaborators from Western New England University. At the same conference, Zabel was also a co-author and presenter on research titled "Black Individuals' Reactions to White Partner Content Strategies in Interracial Interactions" along with Christopher Silver, Michael Olson, and Kristin Houser, University of Tennessee, as well as Camille Johnson ,San Jose State University.

Submitted on: Mar. 10