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Matthew Vess

Associate Head of Graduate Studies
Associate Professor
Areas of Speciality
  • Personality Processes
  • Social & Personality Psychology
  • (979) 845-3963
  • PSYC 281
Professional Links
Office Hours, Spring 2024
Mondays 9:00-10:00 and by appointment (virtual)
Accepting Students for 2024-2025?

Research Interests

My research broadly focuses on the psychological processes and consequences associated with people’s efforts to manage existential concerns, including concerns about personal identity, meaning, and mortality.

Recent Publications

Routledge, C., & Vess, M. (Eds.). (2018). The handbook of terror management theory. Cambridge, MA: Elsevier, Inc.

*Maffly-Kipp, J., *Holte, P. N., Stichter, M., Hicks, J. A., Schlegel, R. J., & Vess, M. (in press). Civic hope and the perceived authenticity of democratic participation. Social Psychological and Personality Science. 

*Nyman, T., Stichter, M., * Rivera, G. N., *Maffly-Kipp, J., Brooker, R. J., & Vess, M. (in press). Genetic causal beliefs and developmental context: Parents’ beliefs predict psychologically controlling approaches to parenting. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 

*Maffly-Kipp, J., Rivera, G. N., Schlegel, R. J., & Vess, M. (2022). The effect of true self-attributions on the endorsement of retributive and restorative justice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 48, 1284-1297.

*Maffly-Kipp, J., *Flanagan, P. N., Schlegel, R. J., & Vess, M. (2022). True self-attributions shape judgements of blame in the context of addiction-relevant crime. Addictive Behaviors, 130, 107287.

Vess, M., & Maffly-Kipp, J. (2022). Intentional and unintentional mindwandering are differentially associated with the experience of self-alienation. Personality and Individual Differences, 185, 111289.

*Rivera, G. N., Vess, M., Hicks, J. A., & Routledge, C. (2020). Awe and meaning: Elucidating opposing mechanisms that link awe to the experience of meaning in life. European Journal of Social Psychology, 50, 392-405.

Vess, M. (2019). Varieties of conscious experience and the subjective awareness of one’s true self. Review of General Psychology, 23, 89-98.

Vess, M., * Rogers, R., Routledge, C., & Hicks, J. A. (2017). When being far away is good: Exploring how mortality salience, regulatory mode, and goal progress affect judgements of meaning in life. European Journal of Social Psychology, 47, 82-91.

Affiliated Research Cluster

Personality Processes. Existential psychology; personal identity and meaning.