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Heather J. Smith


Current Courses

Curriculum Vitae

Organizational Justice Research Team



Heather J. Smith Photograph

(Spring 2015)

We investigate how people change their definitions of fairness and their reactions to disadvantage or conflict when they identify themselves as members of different groups.  For example, an individual’s willingness to accept an ingroup authority’s decision increases if the individual perceives the decision-maker as treating them fairly, but an individual’s willingness to accept an outgroup authority’s decision increases if they receive favorable outcomes.

A list of current research projects is available at:

If you would like to read more about my background, you can read my "FRESCA" profile.

raised hands


Project 1. Did the T.A. cross the line? Evaluate a student complaint

We are studying gender differences in students' perceptions of undergraduate teaching assistants. This is a particularly important issue because of recent and future changes in the use of upper division undergraduates in these mentoring roles. Our goal is to get a clearer picture of how gender differences influence students' attitudes toward potentially problematic student mentor relationships. We plan to compare male students with female students. The central part of this study requires you to read a brief description of a student complaint and then answer a set of questions about your reactions. 


If you identify as a female CSU student, please go to the internet address below:

If you identify as a male CSU student, please go to the internet address below:

Thank you for volunteering your time to further our research.





Heather Smith, Ph.D.
Psychology Department
Sonoma State University
1801 E. Cotati Ave
Rohnert Park, CA 93928