Gail Sahar

Jane Oxford Keiter ‘64 Professor of Psychology


Phone: 508-286-3686


Ph.D.,University of California, Los Angeles
B.A., University of Southern California


Main Interests

Social and Political Psychology

Other Interests

Cooking, reading, X-country skiing, movies, music.


Sahar, G. (2023) Blame and political attitudes: The psychology of America’s culture war. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Sahar, G. (2014). On the importance of attribution theory in political psychology. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 8, 229-249.

O’Toole, M.J. & Sahar, G. (2014). The effects of attributions for crime on attitudes toward prison reform. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice, 10, 46-65.

Sahar, G. (2008). Patriotism, attributions for the 9/11 attacks and support for war: Then and now. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 30, 189-197.

Sahar, G. & Karasawa, K. (2005). Is the personal always political? A cross-cultural analysis of abortion attitudes. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 27(4), 285-296.

Zucker, G.S. (1999). Attributional and symbolic predictors of abortion attitudes. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 29, 1218-1245..

Graham,S., Weiner, B. & Zucker, G.S. (1997). An attributional analysis of punishment goals and public reactions to O.J. Simpson. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 331-346.

Zucker, G.S. & Weiner, B. (1993). Conservatism and perceptions of poverty: An attributional analysis. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 23, 925-943.

Teaching Interests

Social Psychology, Political Psychology, Research Methods

Student Projects

A recent honors thesis that I supervised related beliefs about the causes of crime to attitudes toward prison reform.

Another examined attributions for the economic downturn and how they related to emotional reactions and voting intentions.

I also worked with a student on the effects of “gendered news frames” on perceptions of male and female politicians.

Research Interests

I have long been interested in studying people’s reactions to controversial social issues, such as poverty, abortion, and terrorism.  My research focuses on the links between political ideology, perceptions of the causes of social problems, and emotions and attitudes toward those problems. I am fascinated by the ways in which individual worldviews and culture shape political opinions.





Diana Davis Spencer Discovery Center 3312


Tues. 9:30-10:30 in person
Wed. 10:30-11:30 on Zoom
Spring 2024: On Sabbatical