Dr. Stephen Reysen considers himself lucky to have had great mentors on his team during his academic journey. He has worked beside Drs. Nyla Branscombe, Robert Levine, Constance Jones and Faye Crosby, studying personal and collective identity. Today, his research work involves methods and theories he learned along the way.
A Conversation with Dr. Reysen
What would you tell a student who is thinking about attending A&M-Commerce?
“A&M-Commerce is a nice mid-sized university in a small town. The class sizes are smaller than in larger universities. Also, there are more opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in research. I often advise students to take a leap and join a research lab as soon as possible.”
What draws you to your discipline?
“Social psychology interests me as I can explore the reasons behind human behavior and attitudes. Also, the field is broad enough that students and faculty can do research on pretty much any topic, like studying genre preferences of anime fans!”
What has been your favorite course to teach?
“My favorite course is social psychology. The topic is just that interesting. Indeed, if you look at some of the most famous studies in psychology, they tend to be social psychology.”
Tell us about a project you are currently working on or recently completed.
“One of my research interests is fanship and fandom. I study fans in general, but I also go deeper into a few fan groups. For example, I recently co-authored a book about the psychology of bronies, a term for fans of the television series “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” I also do a lot of work with anime fans (fans of Japanese animation) and furries (fans of anthropomorphic art and stories). I'm excited that we just started up a longitudinal study with anime fans. It'll be a few years before we have the data, though. One of the larger goals of this research is to examine what is similar and different among fandoms. In general, fans are more similar than different. For instance, sports fans show similar psychological processes to furries.”
- Ph.D., Social Psychology, University of Kansas, 2009
- M.A., Psychology, California State University, Fresno, 2005
- B.A., Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2003
- Associate Professor, Psychology, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2015-present
- Assistant Professor, Psychology, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2009-2015
Awards and Honors
- Chuck Arize Excellence in Research Award, TABPHE, 2020
- Professor of the Year, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2017
- Provost Award Research and Creative Activity, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2012
- Outstanding Researcher of the Year, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2012
- Fanship and fandom
- Global citizenship
- Personal and collective identity
- PSY 413 Research Apprenticeship
- PSY 300 Learning Processes and Development
- PSY 618 Group Dynamics
- PSY 718 Doctoral Dissertation