Marti Hope Gonzales

Photo of Marti Hope Gonzales

Contact Me

N218 Elt H

75 E River Rd


As a researcher and teacher, I have always worn two hats. On the one hand, the cornerstone of any potentially applicable science rests on the efforts of basic scientists, who test theoretically derived hypotheses. On the other hand, it's essential to keep a window to the world outside our laboratories; it is only in the helter-skelter world outside that we learn of the limitations of the effects that we find in our laboratories, and of the potential applications of our basic science for conceiving of social problems and working to ameliorate them.

For example, my early basic research on interpersonal conflict and the ways by which offenders use language to extricate themselves from the negative identity implications of their bad behavior led to subsequent experimental and nonexperimental research on the ways that politicians exploit language when confronted with real or alleged personal or professional misconduct, and on the consequences of their efforts to engage in the sociolinguistics of damage control.

To cite another example, our past work on the phenomenology of forgiveness has revealed that forgiveness is a complex, multidimensional phenomenon that involves affective, cognitive, and behavioral changes, and our findings are germane to basic research questions about the relation between cognition and affect, and about psychological changes that unfold over time. As important, our enhanced understanding of the phenomenon of forgiveness in the aftermath of harm-doing enables us to form collaborations with advocates of victim-offender mediation, a community based alternative to retributive justice.

Current longitudinal experimental research on conflict mediation enables us to identify what characteristics of mediation sessions lead to positive outcomes“”including forgiveness, health benefits, and the restoration of fractured relationships“”between two people experiencing what can sometimes feel like an intractable conflict. What psychological and behavioral changes are associated with participants' satisfaction with conflict mediation, and what aspects of the complex dynamics of the mediation session are associated with what kinds of affective, cognitive, and behavioral benefits to victims of others' wrongdoing?

Kurt Lewin, in many respects the father of contemporary social psychology, once asserted that "a science that produces nothing but books will not suffice." Whether addressing the psychological underpinnings of successful energy conservation programs, patient education programs, political socialization in the public schools, or conflict mediation and forgiveness, I have worked to combine the best that both basic and applied research has to offer researchers who want to give psychology away to those who would benefit most from our generosity and expertise.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: University of California, Santa Cruz, 1987.


  • accountability
  • applied social psychology
  • impression management and self-presentation
  • morality and political communication
Courses Taught
  • Psy 1001 - Introduction to Psychology
  • Psy 3201 - Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Psy 4993 - Directed Research in Psychology
  • Psy 5205 - Applied Social Psychology
  • Psy 8203 - Impresion Management
  • Psy 8205 - Principles of Social Psychology
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Member, American Psychological Association:
  • Member, Society for Experimental Social Psychology:
  • Charter Member and Fellow, Association for Psychological Science:
  • Reviewer, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Basic and Applied Social Psychology, Law and Human Behavior, Political Psychology:
  • Gonzales, M. H., Tavris, C., & Aronson, J. (Eds.) (2010). The Scientist and the Humanist: A Festschrift in Honor of Elliot Aronson. New York: Psychology Press.
  • Deason, G. & Gonzales, M. H. (in press). Moral politics in the 2008 presidential convention acceptance speeches. Basic and Applied Social Psychology.
  • Williamson, I., & Gonzales, M. H. (2003). The Phenomenology of Forgiveness: Validation of a Measure of the Forgiveness Experience. Manuscript under review.
  • Gonzales, M. H., E. Riedel, P.G. Avery, & J.L. Sullivan (2001). Rights and obligations in civic education: A content analysis of the National Standards for Civics and Government. Theory and Research in Social Education, 29(1), 109-128.
  • Rudman, L. A., Gonzales, M. H., & Borgida, E. (1999). Mishandling the gift of life: Noncompliance in renal transplant patients. Mishandling the gift of life: Noncompliance in renal transplant patients, 4, 835-852.
  • Gonzales, M. H., Manning, D. J., & Haugen, J. A. (1992). Explaining our sins: Factors influencing offender accounts and anticipated victim responses. 65, 958-971.
  • Gonzales, M. H., Kovera, M. B., Sullivan, J. L., & Chanley, V (1995). Private reactions to public transgressions. Predictors of evaluative responses to allegations of political misconduct. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21, 136-148.
  • Chanley, V., Sullivan, J. L., Gonzales, M. H., & Kovera, M. B. (1994). Lust and avarice in politics: Damage control for four politicians accused of wrongdoing (or, politics as usual). American Politics Quarterly, 22, 297-333.
  • D.J. Burgess & L.J. Mobilio & Gonzales, M. H. (2001). The allure of bad plans: Implications of plan quality for progress toward best possible selves and post-planning energization. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 23, 87-108.
  • I. Williamson, P.G. Avery, J.L. Sullivan, E. Riedel, & A. Bos (in press). Collectivistic values and response options as predictors of endorsement of citizenship activities. Theory and Research in Social Education,
  • Recipient, Minnesota House of Representatives' Teaching Excellence Award, 1993
  • Morse Amoco/Alumni Teaching Award, University of Minnesota, 1993
  • College of Liberal Arts Teaching Award, University of Minnesota, 1993
  • Recipient, Minnesota Psychological Association Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 1993