Associate Professor of Psychology & Social Behavior and Nursing Science
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles
(949) 824-4556
4558 Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway



health psychology, stress physiology, effects of social and emotional processes on physiology and health

Curriculum Vitae: 

My work integrates psychological and biological levels of analysis by applying theories of social and emotional processes to the context of stress and disease. My research examines how social-evaluative threat and accompanying self-conscious emotional responses affect immune and neuroendocrine outcomes, and how individual differences may heighten vulnerability to these psychological and physiological changes.

Selected Publications

  • Zoccola, P. M., Dickerson, S. S., & Lam, S.  (2012).  Eliciting and maintaining ruminative thought: The role of social-evaluative threat.  Emotion, 12, 673-677.

  • Zoccola, P. M.* & Dickerson, S. S.  (2012).  Assessing the relationship between rumination and cortisol: A review.  Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 73, 1-9.

  • Dickerson, S. S.  (2012).  Physiological correlates of self-conscious emotions.  In S. C. Segerstrom (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Psychoneuroimmunology (p. 79-91).  New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Dickerson, S. S., Gruenewald, T. L., & Kemeny, M. E.  (2011).  Physiological effects of social threat: Implications for health.  In J. Cacioppo & J. Decety (Eds.), Handbook of Social Neuroscience (pp, 787-803).  New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Blascovich, J., Vanman, E., Mendes, W. M., & Dickerson, S. S.  (2011).  Social Psychophysiology for Social and Personality Psychology.  Newberry Park, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Dickerson, S. S., Gable, S. L., Irwin, M. R., Aziz, N., & Kemeny, M. E. (2009). Social-evaluative threat and proinflammatory cytokine regulation: An experimental laboratory investigation. Psychological Science, 20, 1237-1244.
  • Lam, S., Dickerson, S. S., Zoccola, P. M., & Zaldivar, F. (2009). Emotion regulation and cortisol reactivity to a social-evaluative speech task. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34, 1355-1362.
  • Zoccola, P.M., Dickerson, S. S., & Lam, S.  (2009).  Rumination predicts longer sleep onset latency following an acute psychosocial stressor.  Psychosomatic Medicine, 77, 771-775.
  • Dickerson, S. S., Gruenewald, T. L., & Kemeny, M. E. (2009). Psychobiological responses to social self threat: Functional or detrimental? Self and Identity, 8, 270-285.
  • Zoccola, P. M., Dickerson, S. S., & Zaldivar, F. (2008). Rumination and cortisol responses to laboratory stressors. Psychosomatic Medicine, 70, 661-667.
  • Dickerson, S. S. (2008). Emotional and physiological responses to social-evaluative threat. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2(3), 1362-1368.
  • Dickerson, S. S., Mycek, P. J., & Zaldivar, F. (2008). Negative social evaluation - but not mere social presence - elicits cortisol responses to a laboratory stressor task. Health Psychology, 27, 116-121.
  • Bower, J. E., Ganz, P. A., Dickerson, S. S., Petersen, L., Aziz, N., & Fahey, J. L. (2005). Diurnal cortisol rhythm and fatigue in breast cancer survivors. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 30(1), 92-100.
  • Dickerson, S. S., Gruenewald, T. L., & Kemeny, M. E. (2004). When the social self is threatened: Shame, physiology, and health. Journal of Personality, 72(6), 1192-1216.
  • Dickerson, S. S., & Kemeny, M. E. (2004). Acute stressors and cortisol responses: A theoretical integration and synthesis of laboratory research. Psychological Bulletin 130(3), 355-391.
  • Dickerson, S. S., Kemeny, M. E., Aziz, N., Kim, K. H., & Fahey, J. L. (2004). Immunological effects of induced shame and guilt. Psychosomatic Medicine, 66(1), 124-131.
  • Stetler, C., Dickerson, S. S., & Miller, G. E. (2004). Uncoupling of social zeitgebers and diurnal cortisol secretion in clinical depression. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 29(10), 1250-1259.
  • Davison, K. P., Pennebaker, J. W., & Dickerson, S. S. (2000). Who talks? The social psychology of illness support groups. American Psychologist, 55, 205-217.
  • Juth, V., Dickerson, S. S., Zoccola, P. M., & Lam, S.  (2014).  Understanding the utility of emotional approach coping: Evidence from a laboratory stressor and daily life.  Anxiety, Stress and Coping, 28(1), 50-70.