Christopher Oveis

Assistant Professor of Economics and Strategic Management

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Info

Rady School of Management
Wells Fargo Hall Hall, Room 4W120
9500 Gilman Drive #0553
La Jolla, CA 92093-0553
Phone: (858) 8227469­
Fax: (858) 5340745

Research Areas

Power and Status
Moral Judgment
Empathy and Compassion
Prosocial Behavior
Thin Slice Judgments
Christopher Oveis

Oveis's research is focused on the role of emotion, power, and nonverbal behavior in social interactions. Oveis’ research examines such questions as (1) How do emotions such as compassion and pride produce feelings of social connection and shared identity with others?; (2) How do nonverbal behaviors--e.g., the way we laugh, stand, and smile--convey a positive and powerful first impression?; (3) How does the way that we control or express our emotions influence the ability to connect with others and make decisions?; (4) How does social power influence various aspects of empathy--the ability/tendency to know what others are thinking and feel what others are feeling?

He takes a multi-method experimental approach to these questions, examining emotions and power as enduring traits as well as situationally-induced states, and examining multiple channels of response (e.g., psychophysiological responding; FACS coded facial behavior; willingness to act to obtain/forgo real economic rewards; subjective experience; analysis of posture, gesture, and gaze; others' judgments of our participants). Oveis also takes an interdisciplinary approach to the work, incorporating theory and methods from social and personality psychology, affective science, behavioral economics, organizational behavior, political science, philosophy, and social neuroscience.

Professor Oveis teaches the Core Leadership courses at the Rady School, and serves as a consulting editor for Emotion and for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Prior to joining the Rady School, Oveis completed postdoctoral fellowships in Harvard University’s Department of Psychology and Kennedy School of Government. He received the Harvard University Bok Award for Excellence in Teaching. Oveis earned his Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and was a predoctoral fellow at the NIMH Training Consortium in Emotion Research. He earned his B.A. with Highest Distinction in Psychology at the University of Virginia.

In 2015, Oveis was awarded a grant from the Templeton Foundation to study positive emotions in teams and organizations.

Selected Publications

Lupoli, M. J., Jampol, L., & Oveis, C. (in press). Lying because we care: Compassion increases prosocial lying. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Shiota, M. N., Campos, B., Oveis, C., Hertenstein, M. J., Simon-Thomas, E., & Keltner, D. (in press). Beyond happiness: Building a science of discrete positive emotions. American Psychologist.

Oveis, C., Spectre, A., Smith, P. K., Liu, M. Y., & Keltner, D. (2016). Laughter conveys status. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 65, 109-115.

Stellar, J. E., Cohen, A. B., Oveis, C., & Keltner, D. (2015). Affective and physiological responses to the suffering of others: Compassion and vagal activity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 108, 572-585.

Kouchaki, M., Oveis, C., & Gino, F. (2014). Guilt enhances the sense of control and drives risky judgments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143, 2103-2110.

Carr, E. W., Winkielman, P., & Oveis, C. (2014). Transforming the mirror: Power fundamentally changes facial responding to emotional expressions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143, 997-1003.

*Kogan, A., *Oveis, C., Carr, E. W., Gruber, J., Mauss, I. B., Shallcross, A., Impett, E. A., van der Löwe, I., Hui, B., Cheng, C., & Keltner, D. (2014). Vagal activity is quadratically related to prosocial traits, prosocial emotions, and observer perceptions of prosociality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107, 1051-1063. [*AK and CO contributed equally]

Sherman, G. D., Lee, J. J., Cuddy, A. J. C., Renshon, J., Oveis, C., Gross, J. J., & Lerner, J. S. (2012). Leadership is associated with lower levels of stress. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109, 17903-17907.

Gordon, A. M., Impett, E. A., Kogan, A., Oveis, C., & Keltner, D. (2012). To have and to hold: Appreciation promotes romantic relationship maintenance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103, 257-274.

Côté, S., Kraus, M. W., Cheng, B. H., Oveis, C., van der Löwe, I., Lian, H., & Keltner, D. (2011). Social power facilitates the effect of prosocial orientation on empathic accuracy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 217-232.

Kogan, A., Saslow, L. R., Impett, E. A., Oveis, C., Keltner, D., & Rodrigues, S. (2011). A thin-slicing study of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene and the evaluation and expression of the prosocial disposition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108, 19189-19192.

Oveis, C., Horberg, E. J., & Keltner, D. (2010). Compassion, pride, and social intuitions of self-other similarity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98, 618-630.

Kogan, A., Impett, E. A., Oveis, C., Hui, B., Gordon, A. M., & Keltner, D. (2010). When giving feels good: The intrinsic benefits of sacrifice in romantic relationships for the communally motivated. Psychological Science, 21, 1918-1924.

Impett, E. A., Gordon, A. M., Kogan, A., Oveis, C., Gable, S. L., & Keltner, D. (2010). Moving toward more perfect unions: Daily and long-term consequences of approach and avoidance goals in romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 948-963.

Oveis, C., Gruber, J., Keltner, D., Stamper, J. L., & Boyce, W. T. (2009). Smile intensity and warm touch as thin slices of child and family affective style. Emotion, 9, 544-548.

Oveis, C., Cohen, A. B., Gruber, J., Shiota, M. N., Haidt, J., & Keltner, D. (2009). Resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia is associated with tonic positive emotionality. Emotion, 9, 265-270.

Horberg, E. J., Oveis, C., Keltner, D., & Cohen, A. B. (2009). Disgust and the moralization of purity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 963-976.

Van Kleef, G. A., Oveis, C., van der Löwe, I., LuoKogan, A., Goetz, J., & Keltner, D. (2008). Power, distress, and compassion: Turning a blind eye to the suffering of others. Psychological Science, 19, 1315-1322.