William E. Davis

William E. Davis

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Wittenberg University


I am a social and personality psychologist who studies things like authenticity and meaning in life. My work also focuses on efforts to improve psychological science. One of my favorite things about teaching at Wittenberg is that I am able to offer robust research experiences and individualized mentorship to undergraduate students interested in studying psychology.


  • PhD in Social and Personality Psychology, 2015

    Texas A&M University

  • BS in Philosophy/Humanities and Psychology, 2009

    North Dakota State University


Anti-Atheist Prejudice in Personality Judgments

What motivates pervasive biases in personality judgments of atheists?

Athlete Motivation in the US and Japan

Do female collegiate athletes have different reasons for competing in these countries?

Justified True Belief (ACCREP)

Replication of Turri, Buckwalter, & Blouw (2015) at Wittenberg University as part of Accelerated CREP

Recent Publications

Many Labs 2: Investigating Variation in Replicability Across Samples and Settings

We conducted preregistered replications of 28 classic and contemporary published findings, with protocols that were peer reviewed in …

Approaching the true self: Promotion focus predicts the experience of authenticity

Promotion focus (PF) positively predicts authenticity in a variety of contexts. Goal PF predicts goal authenticity regardless of match between trait and goal PF. Trait PF predicts authenticity with approach orientation controlled for. Experimentally induced PF leads people to feel more authentic in the moment. Autonomy and competence underlie the link between PF and authenticity.

Motivating exercise through social media: Is a picture always worth a thousand words?

What kinds of social media posts most effectively promote actual exercise motivation? This published paper reports the results of Caitlyn Johnston’s senior thesis project that answered that question by comparing indivdiual and corporate social media posts, and posts with and without images.

Peer-Review Guidelines Promoting Replicability and Transparency in Psychological Science

More and more psychological researchers have come to appreciate the perils of common but poorly justified research practices and are …

Multidimensional perfectionism and perceptions of potential relationship partners

381 participants evaluated profiles of potential relationship partners. Perfectionists were rated as less likeable, warm, and competent. Participants’ own perfectionism predicted interest in perfectionistic profiles. Results varied across type of perfectionism being evaluated.

Attitudes and Motivations of Owners Who Enroll Pets in Pet Life-Care Centers

The purpose of this study was to examine the characteristics, motivations, and expectations of humans who enroll their dogs, cats, and …

Many Labs 3: Evaluating participant pool quality across the academic semester via replication

The university participant pool is a key resource for behavioral research, and data quality is believed to vary over the course of the …


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  • Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH 45324
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