Samuel West

West, Sam

Doctoral Student
Social Program

Research Lab

Social Psychology and Neuroscience Lab

Faculty Adviser

David Chester, Ph.D.

I completed my bachelor's degree in psychology from University of North Carolina-Wilmington (UNC-W) in 2014 and a master’s degree in psychology from UNC-W in 2017. I subsequently joined the doctoral program in social psychology at VCU in 2017. My research interests include aggression, disgust, dehumanization, intergroup processes and social class differences. In particular, I am interested in how disgust and dehumanization allow for moral disengagement, leading to endorsements of acts of violence towards outgroups. I am also interested in how different socioeconomic status backgrounds affects these relationships, mental and physiological health, and overall life satisfaction. This includes conducting experimental research on a wide range of individuals across cultures, class statuses and working towards interventions that can be applied in the real world to improve these conditions.