Meet new faculty: Angela Neal, psychology

Name: Angela Neal
College/department: Psychology department at USC Lancaster
Title: Assistant professor of psychology
Degrees: B.A. psychology, Elmira College; M.A. and Ph.D., psychology, University of New Hampshire
Hometown: Canal Fulton, Ohio

What’s your area of study or research?

I research social psychology with a specialization in studying the various processes that occur within romantic relationships.

Why did you choose Carolina?

South Carolina is a great place to be. Believe it or not, I was always told growing up that “the Carolinas are where you want to end up.” The weather is nice, and the people are nicer. Things just happened to work out to make the “Carolina dream” possible.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I’m excited to get to know everyone, faculty and students, and hopefully foster a love of social psychology.

What are you most looking forward to about being at USC Lancaster?

I’m looking forward to being part of a larger community of people interested in educating and helping one another when needed. I’m also very interested in trying all of the local cuisine.

How did you become interested in your work?

My adviser in undergrad was great, and she really developed my love for social psychology. My relationship research specifically? Who doesn’t find relationships fascinating?

What made you decide to go into academia?

I actually started off as a biology major my freshman year of college, and had planned to go to med school and become a doctor. After quickly deciding that it wasn’t for me, I realized Psychology was fascinating. I switched to psychology and the goal turned into becoming a different type of doctor, a professor.

What’s a talent you have or something that you’ve done that people might find surprising?

I was the valedictorian of both my high school and college, but I also had a social life and participated in both athletics and student organizations. So, I know it’s possible to have a life and get good grades.

What do you hope to accomplish over the next five years?

I want to expand on the work that I’m currently working on, tapping further into relationships. However, I also hope to branch out and study some of the more general concepts in social psychology. I really want to try to not get tied down to a specific topic. Everything is interesting!

What was your dissertation?

My dissertation looked at relationship partners’ perspectives of specific instances of aggression. Do partners tend to agree on the aggression that is occurring, as well as why it’s occurring? Do partners agree on the emotional effects of that aggression? Results hopefully coming soon to a publication near you.

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