Sung Hee Kim

  • Associate Professor
  • Social
  • Psychology
220A Kastle Hall
Research Interests:

My research interests include social conflict, justice, and group processes.

One line of my research involves examining vengeance particularly at the group level. In addition to having completed a theoretical article on the role of vengeance in escalation and negotation (Kim, 2005), I have been working on a review paper that examines various approaches -- for exame, such as psychological, evolutional, and cultural -- to the understanding of vengeance. This review paper also covers the relationship among vengeance, apology, and forgiveness -- particularly at the intergroup level.

Another line of research involves the understanding of factors that promote cooperation and competition in social dilemmas -- which exist when the apparently rewarding choice for the individual will, if taken by all individuals in a group, produces negative outcomes for everyone. Because of their ubiquity and their important implications for collective survival, social dilemmas have received a great deal of research attention. Through a number of studies, I have been examining several, important factors that influence cooperation in social dilemmas.

For example, one study produced an interesting set of findings that how group identity inflates or deflates the impact of personality on cooperation. Numerous sutdies have shown that at the interpersonal level, individuals with prosocial value (the ones who behave in a social dilemma setting to promote collective interestes) tend to cooperate more than those with a pro-self value (the ones who behavior to promote personal interests). However, as our study shows, participants with pro-social value competed as much as those with pro-self value did when interacting with outgroup members (Kim Smith, submitted). I plan to conduct a series of studies to further investigate the role of personality in choice behavior in social dilemmas.

Graduate Training
Ph.D. Tufts Univ., 1991
Selected Publications: 
  • Smith, R. H., Kim, S.H. (2007). Comprehending envy. Psychological Bulletin, 133, 46-64.
  • Smith, R. J., Eyre, H. L., Powell, C. A. J., Kim, S. H. (2006). Relativistic origins of emotional reactions to events happening to others and ourselves. British Journal of Social Psychology, 45, 357-371.
  • Kim, S. H. (2005). The role of vengeance in conflict escalation. In Zartman, I. W., G. O. Faure (Eds.), Escalation and negotiation in international conflicts (pp. 141-162). New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Pruitt, D., Kim, S. H. (2004). Social conflict: Escalation, stalemate and settlement (3rd edition). New York: McGraw-Hill.
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