Associate Provost for Engaged Learning and Professor of Psychology
Dr. Pontari's primary role is to support the creation, maintenance, coordination, promotion, assessment, funding and tracking of engaged learning activities that include but are not limited to undergraduate research, internships, engaged living, and study away experiences. She oversees the assessment and inventory of engaged learning activities and has the charge of establishing the processes to determine which engaged learning opportunities-traditional and nontraditional-constitute high-impact learning experiences – with the goal of expanding our definition of engaged learning. She also assists faculty and staff in determining which engaged learning opportunities are most effective for students at different stages of their academic pathways and continues to work to expand student access to high impact engaged learning activities. Dr. Pontari is also a professor of Psychology.
- Ph.D., University of Florida
- M.S., University of Florida
- B.A., Colgate University
My area of research is self-presentation and impression management - or the process of conveying identities and images to others. Broadly, I am interested in understanding what makes people more or less successful at managing their social interactions.
My current research projects span several areas. I am interested in how close others help or hinder people in social life. For example, with a close friend present, do we perform better in important social situations? Do close others allay our social fears or worsen them? I've specifically examined how friends and partners may help each other come across well to others by strategically altering the way they describe each other to important audiences. Finally, I have applied these areas to better understand those who have difficulty with self-presentation – the socially anxious. Friends’ assistance in social life may be crucial for socially anxious people to enter into and navigate social life.
I have also examined how people deal with social situations in which they interact with several people simultaneously who have different preferences for or expectations of them. Called the "Multiple Audience Problem," despite being something people often encounter, the literature has not addressed how people manage such situations. Therefore, my lab has begin to explore the strategies people use when faced with the MAP.
Finally, many of my thesis students have explored research questions related to self-presentation that go beyond my specific research areas. For example, students have explored how people manage impressions of being environmentally concerned, how mimicking behaviors relate to self-presentation, and if people form negative impressions of people with diabetes (Type I and/or II).
- Pontari, B.A., & *Glenn, E.J. (2012). Engaging in Less Protective Self-Presentation: The Effects of a Friend’s Presence on the Socially Anxious. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 34, 516-526
- Pontari, B. A., Stanaland, A. J.S., & Smythe, T. (2009). Regulating information disclosure in mutual fund advertising in the United Stats: Will consumers utilize cost information? Journal of Consumer Policy, 32, 333-351
- Pontari, B. A. (2009). Appearing socially competent: The effects of a friend’s presence on the socially anxious. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 283-294
- Pontari, B.A., & Rasmussen, P. R. (2009). Competition reconsidered: A perspective from psychology. In: W. Worthen, A. S. Henderson, P.R. Rasmussen, & T.L Benson (Eds.), Competition: A Multidisciplinary Analysis, pp: 47-59
- Brewer, C. L., Einstein, G. O., & Pontari, B. A. (2007). Successful mode ls: Furman University. In R. L. Miller, R. F. Rycek, E. Balcetis, S. Barney, B. Beins, S. Burns, R. Smith, & M. E. Ware (Eds.), Developing, promoting, and sustaining the undergraduate experience in psychology. Syracuse, NY: Society for the Teaching of Psychology. Available on the Web site: http://www.teachpsych.org/teachpsych/pnpp/Pon183
- Pontari, B.A., & Schlenker, B.R. (2004). Providing and Withholding Impression Management Support for Romantic Partners: Gender of the Audience Matters. Journal of Experimental & Social Psychology, 40, 41-51
- Pontari, B.A., Schlenker, B.R., & Christopher, A.N. (2002). Excuses and character: Identifying the problematic aspects of excuses. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 21, 497-516.