Robin Vallacher

Robin Vallacher

  • Department of Psychology
  • Boca Raton - BS-12, 229


Ph.D., Michigan State University

Research Interests

Dynamical models of interpersonal and societal processes
Action Identification
Social Judgement
Social Influence
Social Conflict
Social Change

Research Description

Dr. Vallacher directs the Dynamical Social Psychology Lab in the Psychology Department.  He is also a Research Associate in the Center for Complex Systems, University of Warsaw, Poland, and a Research Affiliate in the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity at Columbia University.  He has authored or edited 11 professional books, authored a Social Psychology text, and written over 150 book chapters and journal articles.  Dr. Vallacher has presented the results of his research in over 150 national and international conferences and has delivered invited addresses at over 20 universities in the United States and Europe.  He has been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin; University of Bern, Switzerland; Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich, Germany; and the University of Montpellier, France.  In recent years, Dr. Vallacher and his colleagues at Columbia University, University of Southern California, Groningen University (the Netherlands), and Warsaw University (Poland) have adapted principles and methods from complexity science and nonlinear dynamical systems to investigate a wide range of topics in personality and social psychology, including self-concept, self-regulation, mindfulness, social judgment, close relationships, stereotyping and prejudice, sport psychology, social change, and intergroup and international conflict. 

Representative Publications


Wegner, D. M. & Vallacher, R. R. (1977).  Implicit psychology: An introduction to social cognition.  New York: Oxford University Press 

Wegner, D. M. & Vallacher, R. R. (Eds.) (1980).  The self in social psychology.  New York: Oxford University Press.

Vallacher, R. R. & Wegner, D. M. (1985).  A theory of action identification.  Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Wegner, D. M. & Vallacher, R. R. (1987).  Implicit psychology: An introduction to social cognition.  New York: Oxford University Press/Sogensha.  (Japanese translation)

Vallacher, R. R. & Nowak, A. (Eds.) (1994).  Dynamical systems in social psychology.  San Diego, CA: Academic Press. 

Nowak, A. & Vallacher, R. R. (1998).  Dynamical social psychology.  New York: Guilford Press.  

Vallacher, R. R., Coleman, P. T., Nowak, A., Bui-Wrzosinska, L., Liebovitch, L., Kugler, K., & Bartoli, A. (2013).  Attracted to conflict: Dynamic foundations of destructive social relations.  Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.

Vallacher, R. R., Read, S. J., & Nowak, A. (Eds.) (2017).  Computational social psychology.  New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Nowak, A., Vallacher, R. R., Rychwalska, A., & Praszkier, R. (2020).  In Sync: The emergence of function in minds, groups, and societies.  Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. 

Nowak, A., Vallacher, R. R., Rychwalska, A., Roszcynska, K., Biesaga, M., & Kacprzyk-Murawska, M. (2020). Target in control: Social influence as distributed information processing. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.

Vallacher, R. R. (2020). Social psychology: Exploring the dynamics of human experience. New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Selected Journal Articles

Wegner, D. M., Vallacher, R. R., Macomber, G., Wood, R., & Arps, K. (1984).  The emergence of action.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 269‑279 

Wegner, D. M., Vallacher, R. R., Kiersted, G. W., & Dizadji, D. M. (1986).  Action identification in the emergence of social behavior.  Social Cognition, 4, 18‑38.

Vallacher, R. R. & Wegner, D. M. (1987).  What do people think they're doing?  Action identification and human behavior.  Psychological Review, 94, 3‑15.

Vallacher, R. R., & Wegner, D. M. (1989).  Levels of personal agency: Individual variation in action identification.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 660‑671.

Vallacher, R. R., & Selz, K. (1991).  Who's to blame?  Action identification in allocating responsibility for alleged rape.  Social Cognition, 9, 194‑219.

Vallacher, R. R., Nowak, A., & Kaufman, J. (1994).  Intrinsic dynamics of social judgment.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 20-34.

Vallacher, R. R. & Nowak, A. (1997). The emergence of dynamical social psychology.  Psychological Inquiry, 8, 73-99.

Nowak, A., Vallacher, R. R., & Borkowski, W. (2000). Modeling the temporal coordination of behavior and internal states. Advances in Complex Systems, 3, 67-86.

Nowak, A., Vallacher, R. R., Tesser, A., & Borkowski, W. (2000).  Society of self: The emergence of collective properties in self-structure.  Psychological Review, 107, 39-61.

Vallacher, R. R., Read, S. J., & Nowak, A. (2002).  The dynamical perspective in personality and social psychology.  Personality and Social Psychology Review, 6, 264-273.   

Vallacher, R. R., Nowak, A., Froehlich, M., & Rockloff, M. (2002).  The dynamics of self-evaluation. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 6, 370-379.   

Nowak, A., Vallacher, R. R., & Zochowski, M. (2005).  The emergence of personality: Dynamic foundations of individual variation.  Developmental Review, 25, 351-385.

Vallacher, R. R. (2007).  Local acts, global consequences: A dynamical systems perspective on torture.  Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 13, 445-450.  

Fernandez-Dols, J. M., Aguilar, P., Campo, S., Vallacher, R. R., Janowsky, A., Rabbia, H., & Brussiho, S., & Lerner, M. J.  (2010).  Maligned cooperative participants: Experimenter induced normative conflict in zero-sum situations.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 525-530. 

Vallacher, R. R., Coleman, P. T., Nowak, A., & Bui-Wrzosinska, L. (2010).  Rethinking intractable conflict: The perspective of dynamical systems.  American Psychologist, 65, 262-278.

Wong, A., Vallacher, R. R., & Nowak, A. (2014).  Fractal dynamics in self-evaluation reveal self-concept clarity.  Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, 18, 349-370.

Parkin, S. S., Jarman, M. S., & Vallacher, R. R. (2015).  On being mindful: What do people think they are doing?  Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 9, 31-44.

Jarman, M., Nowak, A., Borkowski, W., Serfass, D., Wong, A., & Vallacher, R. R. (2015).  The critical few: Anticonformists at the crossroads of minority survival and collapse.  Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 18 (1) 6.

Vallacher, R. R., Van Geert, P., & Nowak, A. (2015).  The intrinsic dynamics of the psychological process.  Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24, 5-64.

Gernigon, C., Vallacher, R. R., Nowak, A., & Conroy, D. E. (2015). Rethinking approach and avoidance in achievement contexts: The perspective of dynamical systems.  Review of General Psychology, 19, 443-457.

Wong, A. E., Vallacher, R. R., & Nowak, A. (2016).  Intrinsic dynamics of self-evaluation: The role of self-concept clarity.  Personality and Individual Differences, 100, 167-172.

Nowak, A., Vallacher, R. R., Zochowski, M., & Rychwalska, A. (2017).  Functional synchronization: The emergence of coordinated activity in human systems. Frontiers in Psychology, Volume 8, Article 94 (

Wong, A. E., & Vallacher, R. R.  (2017).  Reciprocal feedback between self-concept and goal pursuit in daily life.  Journal of Personality 

Coleman, P. T., Kugler, K. G., & Vallacher, R. R., & Kim, R. (2018). Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst: Regulatory focus optimality in high- and low-intensity social conflict. International Journal of Conflict Management. (

Nowak, A., & Vallacher, R. R. (2019). Nonlinear societal change: The perspective of dynamical systems. British Journal of Social Psychology, 58, 105-128.

Reed, S. K., & Vallacher, R. R. (2019). A comparison of information processing and dynamical systems perspectives on problem solving. Thinking and Reasoning.(

Vallacher, R. R. & Nowak, A. (2019). Cause for optimism? Psychological Inquiry, 30(4), 246-249.

Michaels, J. L., Vallacher, R. R., & Nowak, A. (2021). Finding order in the flow of personality: Dynamical systems techniques for measuring personality coherence and change. In J. F. Rauthmann (Ed.), The handbook of personality dynamics and processes (Chapter 38, pp. 985-1011). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier.

Vallacher, R. R., & Fennell, E. (2021). Rapid social change and the emergence of populism. In J. P. Forgas, W. D. Crano, & K. Fiedler (Eds.), The psychology of populism: The tribal challenge to liberal democracy (pp, 332-347). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Michaels, J. L., Coy, A. E., & Vallacher, R. R. (2023). The Religious Behavioral Identification Form (RBIF): A scale to measure global versus situational understanding of religious actions. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 15(2) , 281–289.

Vallacher, R. R., Nowak, A., & Fennell, E. (2023). Mental calibration: Fine-tuning the dynamics of mind and action. In A. J. Elliot (Ed.), Advances in motivation science (Vol. 10). New York: Elsevier.

Nowak, A., Vallacher, R. R., Bartkowski, W., & Olson, L. (2023). Integration and expression: The complementary functions of self-reflection. Journal of Personality, 91(4), 947-962. (

Vallacher, R. R., & Nowak, A. (2024). Dynamic foundations of social influence. In R. Prislin (Ed.), Research handbook on social influence. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Gernigon, C., Den Hartigh, R. J. R., Vallacher, R. R., & van Geert, P. L. C. (2024). How the complexity of psychological processes reframes the issue of reproducibility in psychological science. Perspectives on Psychological Science.

A full list of Robin Vallacher's publications can be found 


Recent Biography

Autobiography of Robin Vallacher.  In V. Zeigler-Hill & T. K. Shackelford (Eds.) (2017), Encyclopedia of personality and individual differences.  NY: Springer.  DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1508-1

Scholarly Activities