GROUP EXPERIENCES LAB

RESEARCH

In the Group Experiences Laboratory, we integrate a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to better understand the conditions and processes that shape our experiences in work groups and teams. Our research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Canada Foundation for Innovation, and Mitacs. We are also working closely with our organizational partners to develop innovative solutions to optimize employee and team member experiences.

 

 

We are currently investigating how people differ in the roles (e.g., leadership, followership) they strive for and desire within teams and organizations, which traits people value in leaders and followers, and how social rank dynamics contribute to team and organizational functioning.

 

In a separate line of inquiry, we are investigating how emergent group processes and group states (e.g., team resilience, team cultures of prestige and dominance) contribute to team effectiveness in teams with both formal and informal hierarchies.

CURRENT LAB MEMBERS

DR. ALEX BENSON

Dr. Benson completed his PhD in Social Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University. During this time, he also spent some time abroad at Bangor University in Wales as a visiting scholar at the Institute for Psychology of Elite Performance. Before arriving at Western University, he received a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship to evaluate team dynamics in youth groups at Nipissing University. Broadly speaking, his research interests lie in studying group dynamics, with a general aim of understanding how groups shape our experiences as individuals, and how individuals shape the groups to which they belong.

ALEXANDER MCGREGOR

Alex is currently pursuing his PhD in I/O psychology under the supervision of Dr. Alex Benson. His research interests at the moment include developing a psychometrically sound measure of team resiliency, fairness perceptions of selection measures, and ethical risk factors in organizations. Alex completed his M.Sc at Western under the supervision of Dr. Mitch Rothstein on the role of Self-regulation processes mediating between control beliefs and mental health outcomes. Outside of academia, Alex enjoys painting, practicing guitar, backpacking, playing baseball, and exploring Ontario.

NOELLE BAIRD

Noelle is currently pursuing her PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology with the joint supervision of Dr. Jennifer Robertson and Dr. Alex Benson. Noelle previously completed her MSc. at Western, where she examined the influence of hostile followership on leadership behaviour. Her research interests include leader-follower dynamics and status hierarchies in groups. Noelle is a recipient of the Douglas N. Jackson Memorial Award, awarded to the student with the most promising research potential incoming to Western University’s Industrial/Organizational Psychology program. Her hobbies include asking people when their birthday is, watching Jeopardy, and trying to find some zen on her yoga mat.

LYNDEN JENSON

Lynden is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational psychology with the supervision of Dr. Alex Benson. His research interests include how hierarchies are behaviorally developed, negotiated, and communicated within groups. Lynden completed a Master of Science degree in Social Psychology at Western under the supervision of Dr. Erin Heerey on the effect of perceived role suitability on prestige, dominance, performance, and communication. Outside of academia, Lynden enjoys playing board games, guitar, camping, and cooking.

JENNIFER LYNCH

Jennifer is currently in her second year of Western’s MSc in Industrial/Organizational Psychology with the supervision of Dr. Alex Benson. Jennifer’s main research interests include group dynamics and personality. Jennifer is a recipient of the Douglas N. Jackson Award, awarded for promising research potential in Western University’s Industrial/Organization Psychology program. As well, she has received funding through the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (2020-2021), provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Outside of academia, Jennifer enjoys listening to music, watching documentaries, drawing as well as spending time with family and friends.

ZHUO (ELZIE) LI

Zhuo is currently pursuing his MSc. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology with the supervision of Dr. Alex Benson. His research interests include cross-cultural management, leadership and followership, group/team dynamics. In his spare time, Zhuo enjoys watching movies, going to events, hiking and spending time with friends.

TIANYUE (TINA) XU

Tina is currently in her first year of the MSc in Industrial/Organizational Psychology with the supervision of Dr. Alex Benson. Her research interests include social rank dynamics and personality. Tina is a recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, awarded to graduate students with high academic achievement and scholarly potential in Ontario. Outside of academia, Tina enjoys skiing, dancing, drawing, and practicing guitar.

LUJANE AL-AZEM

Lujane is a fourth year psychology student pursuing an undergraduate degree in Honors Specialization in Psychology. She is conducting an undergraduate thesis with the supervision of Dr. Alex Benson. She is very passionate about group dynamics research. Outside of the lab, Lujane enjoys volunteering with meaningful initiatives and spending time with family.

INTERESTED IN JOINING THE LAB?

If you are interested in joining the lab as a volunteer, please send a completed version of the volunteer application form to abenson3@uwo.ca.

 

I am not accepting graduate student applications for 2020-2021.

Lab Alumni

JEFF CHAMBERLAIN

Jeff Chamberlain completed his Master's in the School of Kinesiology working with the supervision of Dr. Benson as well as Dr. Craig Hall. His research examined the potential consequences of newcomer integration processes in elite adolescent ice hockey teams. He is currently Director of Sport Psychology.

KARLEE CITRO

Karlee completed her last year of a B.A. Honour’s degree in Psychology in 2020. She conducted her thesis under the supervision of Dr. Alex Benson. Karlee’s current research interests include personality and group/team dynamics. Outside of academia, Karlee enjoys listening to podcasts, playing with her dogs, and spending time with friends and family.

VIRGINIA LING

Virginia is currently a fifth-year undergraduate student pursuing her double degree in Honors Specialization Psychology and Honors Business Administration. She is writing her honors thesis under the supervision of Dr. Alex Benson on the interrelations between personality, status, and interpersonal styles. In her free time, Virginia enjoys reading, travelling, skiing, and spending time with friends and family.

SAMPLE OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS

For a complete and updated list of publications, see: https://scholar.google.ca/citations?user=po-D11wAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

 

Baird, N. Martin, L. J., & Benson, A. J. (2020). A dynamic view of coach transformational leadership: How leadership perceptions across time relate to task cohesion and team potency. Psychology of Sport & Exercise. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2020.101789

 

Benson, A. J., & Giacomin, M. (2020). How narcissism and self-esteem differentially relate to high and (un)stable feelings of status and inclusion. Journal of Personality. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12565

 

Graupensperger, S., Benson, A. J., Kilmer, J. R., & M. B., Evans. (2020). Social (un)distancing: Teammate interactions, athletic identity, and mental health of student-athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Adolescent Health. Advance online publication.

 

Benson, A. J., Daljeet, K. N., & Cavallo, J. V. (2019). Tailoring emotional expressions in romantic relationships: A Person-centered approach. Journal of Research in Personality. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2019.103897

 

Benson, A. J., Azizi, E., Evans, M. B., Eys, M., & Bray, S. R. (2019). How innuendo shapes impressions of task and intimacy groups. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 85, 103854. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2019.103854

 

Benson, A. J., Jeschke, J., Jordan, C. H., Bruner, M. W., & Arnocky, S. (2019). Will they stay or will they go? Narcissistic admiration and rivalry predict ingroup affiliation and devaluation. Journal of Personality, 87, 871-888. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12441

 

Graupensperger, S. A., Benson, A. J., Bray, B. C., & Evans, M. B. (2019). Social cohesion and peer acceptance predict student-athletes’ attitudes toward health-risk behaviors: A within- and between-group investigation. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 22 (12), 1280-1286. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2019.07.003

 

Benson, A. J., & Jordan, C. (2018). Narcissistic followership. In A. Hermann, A. Brunell, & J. Foster (Eds.), Trait narcissism: Key advances, research methods, and controversies. Springer Publishing Company. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-92171-6_44

Graupensperger, S., Benson, A. J., Evans, M. B. (2018). Everyone else is doing it: The association between social identity and susceptibility to peer-influence in NCAA athletes. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 40, 117-127. https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2019.1566548

 

Benson, A. J., & Bruner, M. W. (2018). How teammate behaviors relate to athlete affect, cognition, and behaviors: A daily diary approach within youth sport. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 34, 119-127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2017.10.008

 

Benson, A. J., & Eys, M. A. (2017). Understanding the consequences of newcomer integration processes: The Sport Team Socialization Tactics Questionnaire. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 39, 13-28. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2016-0182

Benson, A. J., Hardy, J., & Eys, M. A. (2016). Contextualizing leaders’ interpretations of proactive followership. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 37, 949-966. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.2077

 

Benson, A. J., Jordan, C. H., & Christie, A. M. (2016). Narcissistic responses to subordinate role assignment: The case of the narcissistic follower. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 42, 985-999. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167216649608

 

Benson, A. J., Eys, M., & Irving, G. (2016). Great expectations: How role expectations and role experiences relate to perceptions of team cohesion. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 38, 160-172. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2015-0228

 

Benson, A. J., Evans, M. B., & Eys, M. A. (2016). Organizational socialization in team sport environments. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 4, 463-473. https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.12460

SAMPLE OF RECENT PRESENTATIONS

Baird, N., & Benson, A.J. (June 2020). An examination of team conflict: The essential role of followership. Poster Presentation at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Annual Conference. Note: Conference was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Baird, N., Woodley, H.J.R., & Benson, A.J. (February, 2020). Where you lead, I will follow: Developing a measure and nomological network of followership motives. Poster Presentation at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Preconference: Bringing intragroup processes back to social psychology, New Orleans, Louisiana.

 

 

Baird, N., Benson, A., Robertson J.L., & Moosavi, S. (May, 2019). Leadership on the ropes: How hostile followership affects leadership behaviour. Poster Presentation at the meeting of the Canadian Psychological Association, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

 

 

Lynch, J., Benson, A., & McGregor, A. (May, 2019). How narcissistic admiration and rivalry relate to team conflict processes. Poster Presentation at the meeting of the Canadian Psychological Association, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

McGregor, A.J. Benson, A., Rothstein, M.G. (May, 2019). Psychometric validation of the Team Resiliency Inventory. Poster Presentation at the meeting of the Canadian Psychological Association, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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