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David Sparkman

David Sparkman
  • Assistant Professor
  • Psychology

I am a new Assistant Professor here at UW – Eau Claire. I am originally from Michigan, having been born, raised, and attended college in the metro Detroit area, but have wanted to live in Wisconsin for many years. In undergrad, I double-majored in psychology and history at Eastern Michigan University, and in graduate school I attended the University of Arkansas for my Ph.D. in psychology. I am a social psychologist by training, whose research focuses primarily on issues related to diversity, prejudice, and intergroup relations. When I’m not teaching in the classroom or researching in the lab, you can probably find me spending quality time with friends, (anxiously) watching the Wisconsin Badgers, or re-watching (and re-re watching) The Office.

Teaching Interests

Introduction to Psychology
Social Psychology
Psychology of Race and Social Class
Prejudice and Intergroup Relations

Research and Creative Activities

The core of my research expertise is in the area of diversity, prejudice, and intergroup relations. I’m particularly interested in ways to mitigate intergroup bias and capitalize on the benefits of racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. In my research, I examine the effects of multicultural vs. colorblind approaches to diversity, intergroup perspective taking, intergroup contact, and multicultural experiences on various cognitive, motivational, and ideological outcomes. Importantly, these outcomes are often informative mechanisms that help explain how prejudice is reduced in the individual and (potentially) society. I also have secondary research interests that examine how various personality factors (particularly Openness to Experience) and political ideology (liberalism vs. conservatism) relate to diversity, prejudice, and intergroup relations.

I am very excited to begin working with and mentoring students in my Diversity, Prejudice, and Intergroup Relations (DPIR) Lab. Here, you will get the chance to work directly with me and other students on all aspects of the research process, including developing research questions and hypotheses, conducting a literature review, designing research surveys and/or experiments, collecting and analyzing data, and disseminating your findings via professional presentations or research articles. In the DPIR Lab, you will be joined by a group of people who have a passion for understanding the “ins and outs” of multiple facets of diversity, how to create more harmonious relations between different groups in society, and ways to promote a fairer and more equitable world. Come talk to me if you are interested!


Ph.D., University of Arkansas (Psychology)

M.A., University of Arkansas (Psychology)

B.S., Eastern Michigan University (Psychology and History)

Published Research

Sparkman, D. J. (in press). Openness. In B. J. Carducci (Editor-in-Chief) & C. S. Nave (Vol. Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell encyclopedia of personality and individual differences: Vol. I. Models and theories. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Sparkman, D. J., Eidelman, S, & Till, D. F. (2019). Ingroup and outgroup interconnectedness predict and promote political ideology through empathy. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. Online only version.

Sparkman, D. J., Eidelman, S., Dueweke, A. R., Marin, M. S., & Dominguez, B. (2019). Open to diversity: Openness to Experience predicts multiculturalism and colorblindness through perspective taking. Journal of Individual Differences, 40, 1-12.

Sparkman, D. J., & Eidelman, S. (2018). We are the “human family:” Multicultural experiences predict less prejudice and greater concern for human rights through identification with humanity. Social Psychology, 49, 135-153.

Sparkman, D. J., & Blanchar, J. C. (2017). Examining relationships among epistemic motivation, perspective taking, and prejudice: A test of two explanatory models. Personality and Individual Differences, 114, 48-56.

Sparkman, D. J., Eidelman, S., & Blanchar, J. C. (2016). Multicultural experiences reduce prejudice through personality shifts in Openness to Experience. European Journal of Social Psychology, 46, 840-853.

Sparkman, D. J., & Eidelman, S. (2016). “Putting myself in their shoes”: Ethnic perspective taking explains liberal-conservative differences in prejudice and stereotyping. Personality and Individual Differences, 98, 1-5.

Professional Memberships

American Psychological Association (APA)
Society for Social and Personality Psychologists (SPSP)
Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)