Psychology Faculty

Lucian Conway, Ph.D.

Lucian Conway, Ph.D.

Professor of Social Psychology

Office: Skaggs Bldg 239

Personal Website
Curriculum Vitae


Social Psychology; Advanced Social Psychology; Political Psychology Seminar; Teaching of Psychology Seminar


Personal Summary

At a practical level, our lab is divided into two (often overlapping) lab groups: The Cognitive Complexity lab and the Culture lab. The Cognitive Complexity lab focuses on whether beliefs have a simple or complex structure. The Culture lab focuses on the often-shared nature of beliefs. 

Within each of these labs, we also have developed overlapping specialties in natural language processing and national security.  Click on the links to see summaries of this work.

Link to Dr. Conway's Political Cognition Lab


Field of Study

Political Psychology; Peace Psychology; Social Psychology; Cultural Psychology

Selected Publications

Conway, L. G. III, Chan, L., Woodard, S. R., & Joshanloo, M. (in press). Proximal versus distal ecological stress: Socio-ecological influences on political freedom, well-being, and societal and business confidence in 159 Nations. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, XX, XX-XX.

Houck, S. C., Conway, L.G., III, & Zubrod, A. (in press). Automated language analysis: Integrative complexity. In R. Boyd & M. Dehghani (Eds.), The Atlas of Language Analysis in Psychology. New York: Guilford Press.

Woodard, S. R., Chan, L., & Conway, L. G., III (in press). In search of the cognitively complex person: To what degree is cognitive complexity a generalized individual difference variable? Personality and Social Psychology Review, XX, XX-XX.

Conway, L. G, III, Houck, S. C., Chan, L., Repke, M. A., & McFarland, J. (2021). The agreement paradox: How pressures for agreement can ultimately divide us. In J.-W. van Prooijen (Ed.), Current Issues in Social Psychology: Political Polarization (pp. 112-126). New York: Routledge.

Conway, L. G., III, Conway, K. R., & Houck, S. C. (2020). Validating Automated Integrative Complexity: Natural language processing and the Donald Trump testJournal of Social and Political Psychology, 8, 504-524.

Zubrod, A., Conway, L. G., III, Conway, K. R., & Ailanjian, D. (2020). Understanding the role of linguistic complexity in famous trial outcomes. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, XX, XX-XX.

Chan, L., Zubrod, A., Woodard, S. R., & Conway, L. G., III. (2020). Identity leadership is manifested via integrative complexity: Comment on Haslam et al. 2019.  American Psychologist, 75, 403–405. 

Conway, L.G. III, Zubrod, A., Chan, L. (2020). The paradox of tribal equalitarianismPsychological Inquiry, 31, 48-52.

Tweed, R. G., Mah, E. Y., & Conway, L. G., III. (2020). Bringing coherence to positive psychology: Faith in humanityThe Journal of Positive Psychology. DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2020.1725605

Berry, M. S., Repke, M., & Conway, L. (2019). Visual exposure to natural environments decreases delay discounting of improved air qualityFrontiers in Public Health, 7, 308-315.

Conway, L. G., III, Chan, L., & Woodard, S. R. (2019). Socio-ecological influences on political ideology.  Current Opinion in Psychology, 32, 76-80. 

Conway, L. G., III, & McFarland, J. D. (2019).  Do Right-Wing and Left-Wing Authoritarianism predict election outcomes?: Support for Obama and Trump across two United States presidential elections.  Personality and Individual Differences, 138, 84-87.

Conway, L. G., III, & Repke, M. A. (2019). The psychological contamination of pro-environmental consensus:  Political pressure for environmental belief agreement undermines its long-term power.  Journal of Environmental Psychology, 62, 12-21.

Conway, L. G., III, & Woodard, S. R. (2019).  Integrative complexity across domains and across time: Evidence from political and health domains.  Personality and Individual Differences. DOI:

Houck, S. C., & Conway, L. G. III. (2019).  Strategic communication and the integrative complexity-ideology relationship: Meta-analytic findings reveal differences between public politicians and private citizens in their use of simple rhetoric.  Political Psychology. DOI:10.1111/pops.12583

Houck, S. C., McFarland, J., VanderDrift, L. E., & Conway, L. G. III. (2019).  When beliefs lead to (im)moral action: How believing in torture’s effectiveness shapes the endorsement of its usePolitical Psychology. DOI:10.1111/pops.12590

Van de Vliert, E., & Conway, L. G. III.  (2019). Northerners and Southerners differ in conflict culture. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 12(3), 256-277.

Chan, L., & Conway, L. G., III.  (2018). Autocratic government moderates the relationship between culture and legal restriction.  Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology491457–1463.  DOI: 10.1177/0022022118793538 

Conway, L. G., III, Houck, S. C., Gornick, L. J., Repke, M. R. (2018).  Finding the Loch Ness Monster: Left-Wing Authoritarianism in the United StatesPolitical Psychology, 39, 1049-1067. [Featured in a virtual issue of Political Psychology containing Most-Cited Papers from 2016-2018:; also awarded Top 20 Most Downloaded Articles 2017-2018 by Wiley for Political Psychology].

Chan, L., McFarland, J. D., & Conway, L. G., III.  (2018).  Political contamination of social psychology: A review of Crawford and Jussim’s (2017) edited book ‘The politics of social psychology.’  Social Justice Research. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1007/s11211-018-0312-y 

Conway, L. G., III, Suedfeld, P., & Tetlock, P. E. (2018).  Integrative complexity in politics.  In A. Mintz (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Behavioral Political Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190634131.013.7

Houck, S. C., Conway, L. G. III, Parrow, K., & Luce, A., & Salvati, J. (2018). An integrative complexity analysis of religious and irreligious thinking.  Sage Open. 

McCullough, H., & Conway, L. G., III.  (2018a). The cognitive complexity of Miss Piggy and Osama Bin Laden: Examining linguistic differences between fiction and reality.  Psychology of Popular Media Culture7, 518-532.

McCullough, H., & Conway, L. G., III.  (2018b). “And the Oscar goes to…”: Integrative complexity’s predictive power in the film industry.  Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts12, 392-398.  DOI:

Repke, M. A., Berry, M. S., Conway, L. G., III, Metcalf, A., Hensen, R. M., & Phelan, C. (2018).  How does nature exposure make people healthier?: Evidence for the role of impulsivity and expanded space perceptionPLoS ONE, 13:e0202246. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0202246

Conway, L. G., III, Bongard, K., Plaut, V. C., Gornick,L. J., Dodds, D., Giresi, T., Tweed, R. G., Repke, M. A., & Houck, S. C. (2017). Ecological origins of freedom: Pathogens, heat stress, and frontier topography predict more vertical but less horizontal governmental restrictionPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43, 1378-1398.  DOI: 10.1177/0146167217713192

Conway, L. G., III, Boyd, R. L., Dennehy, T. C., Mills, D. J., & Repke, M. A. (2017). Political behavior inside and outside the lab: Bringing political research to the real worldTranslational Issues in Psychological Science, 3, 227-230. 

Conway, L. G. III, Harris, K. J., Catley, D., Gornick, L. J., Conway, K. R., Repke, M. A., Houck, C. (2017). Cognitive complexity of clients and counselors during motivation-based treatment for smoking cessation: An observational study on occasional smokers in a U.S. college sampleBMJ Open0 :e015849. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-015849 

Conway, L. G., III, Repke, M. A., & Houck, S. C. (2017). Donald Trump as a cultural revolt against perceived communication restriction: Priming political correctness norms causes more Trump supportJournal of Social and Political Psychology, 5, 244-259.

Houck, S. C., Repke, M. A., & Conway, L. G., III.  (2017). Understanding what makes terrorist groups’ propaganda effective: An integrative complexity analysis of ISIL and Al Qaeda.  Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, 12, 105-118. DOI:10.1080/18335330.2017.1351032

Repke, M. A., Conway, L. G., III, & Houck, S. C. (2017).  The strategic manipulation of linguistic complexity: A test of two models of lying.  Journal of Language and Social Psychology. Advance online publication.  DOI: 10.1177/0261927X17706943

Tweed, R. G., Mah, E., Dobrin, M., Van Poele, R., & Conway, L. G., III. (2017). Can positive psychology influence public policy and practice?  In C. Proctor (Ed.), Positive Psychology Interventions in Practice (pp. 257-271).  New York: Springer. 

Conway, L. G., Gornick, L. J., Houck, S. C., Anderson, C., Stockert, J., Sessoms, D. and McCue, K. (2016). Are conservatives really more simple-minded than liberals? The domain specificity of complex thinkingPolitical Psychology, 37, 777-798. doi: 10.1111/pops.12304