Melanie B. Tannenbaum is a doctoral candidate in social psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she received an M.A. in social psychology in 2011. Melanie received her B.A. in Psychology with departmental and Latin honors from Duke University in 2009.
Melanie has been writing about the intersection of psychology and pop culture for a little over two years. She began blogging at IonPsych in January 2011, and created PsySociety in May 2011. In June 2012, Melanie was hired to work for W.W. Norton and Company as an independent consultant tasked with creating blogposts and interactive eBook activities tying psychological concepts to pop culture, politics, and everyday life as an official accompaniment for the third edition of the textbook Social Psychology. Her writing on psychology and pop culture has been featured in Scientific American, In-Mind Magazine, and The Best Science Writing Online 2012.
As a researcher, Melanie is primarily interested in the study of persuasion and motivation, specifically regarding political, environmental, and health-related behaviors. Her most recent projects have studied (1) the efficacy of fear appeals in persuasion, (2) the effects of social class mobility on political attitude formation, perceptions of societal fairness, and subsequent voting behaviors, (3) the effects of power and status on goal-setting and motivation, and (4) the effects of different forms of emotional appeals (e.g. disgust-based vs. fear-based) on attitude change, moralization, and behavioral intentions with regards to climate change and environmental behaviors.
In her free time, Melanie can usually be found at the gym, either teaching (she is a certified group fitness instructor), or training (for a Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, or half-marathon). She lives in Champaign, Illinois with her boyfriend and two mischievous cats. You can find more information about Melanie at her personal website.