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Bonita London, Ph.D.

Columbia University (2006)
Professor, Social and Health Psychology

Dr. Bonita London will be reviewing graduate student applications for the 2023-2024 academic year


Office: Psychology B-242
Phone: (631) 632-6369

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Research Interests:

Social identity and intergroup processes; stereotyping and prejudice, stress and coping, social and motivational factors in academic achievement. 

Current Research:

Dr. London's research aims to identify and explore the individual, psychosocial and institutional mechanisms associated with social identity threat on the academic, intergroup and psychosocial well-being of historically marginalized groups (on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation).

Utilizing social-cognitive models of status-based rejection sensitivity (gender, race, sexual orientation), lay theories of personality and competence, and perceived identity compatibility, Dr. London’s work explores the social and developmental mechanisms of how people anticipate, perceive, and cope with cues of identity and competence threat. We apply our theoretical models to understand the experiences of women in select domains (e.g., Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields; business; law), and members of race, ethnic, socioeconomic and sexual minority groups. Further, Dr. London explores how identity intersectionality creates a unique set of experiences for individuals.

Dr. London’s research on competence beliefs explores how self-theories of competence (e.g., impostorism, incremental and entity theories of intelligence) as well as perceptions of competence beliefs held by others impacts achievement, sense of belonging, motivation, and well-being among individuals.

Dr. London’s research team primarily utilizes longitudinal, experience sampling methods that capture the daily, weekly, monthly experiences of people as they navigate their identities and competence beliefs in their interpersonal relationships, and academic and work environments. The research team also utilizes social-cognitive experimental lab designs, psychophysiological assessments, and multi-institution survey methods.

Please visit the lab webpage ( for further information.

Representative Publications:

View Full CV

Note: ^ denotes graduate student co-author (current or past); ^^ denotes undergraduate student co-author (current or past).

^Dyar, C., ^Feinstein, B., Eaton, N., & London, B. (2016). The Mediating Roles of
Rejection Sensitivity and Proximal Stress in the Relationship between Discrimination and Internalizing Psychopathology among Sexual Minority Women. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10508-016-0869-1.

Feinstein, B., ^Dyar, C., & London, B. (2016). Are Outness and Community Involvement Risk or Protective Factors for Alcohol and Drug Abuse among Sexual Minority Women? Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10508-016-0790-7.

^Lytle, A., ^Dyar, C., Levy, S.R., & London, B. (2016). Essentialist Beliefs:
Understanding Contact with and Attitudes toward Lesbian and Gay Individuals. British Journal of Social Psychology. doi: 10.1111/bjso.12154

^ Clark, S., ^ Dyar, C., ^ Maung-Gaona, N., & London, B. (2016). Psychosocial Pathways to STEM

Engagement among Graduate Students in the Life Sciences. CBE--Life Sciences Education (LSE), 15(3), pii: ar45. doi: 10.1187/cbe.16-01-0036.

^ Rosenthal, L., Levy, S.R., London, B., & Lewis, M.A. (2016). Polyculturalism among undergraduates at diverse universities: Associations through intergroup anxiety with academic and alcohol outcomes. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy.doi: 10.1111/asap.12121

^Shin, J.E.L., Levy, S. R., & London, B. (2016). Effects of Role Model Exposure on STEM and Non-STEM Student Engagement. Journal of Applied Social Psychology.doi: 10.1111/jasp.12371

^Dyar, C., ^Feinstein, B.A., Eaton, N.R., & London, B. (2015). Development and initial validation of the sexual minority women rejection sensitivity scale. Psychology of Women Quarterly. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1177/0361684315608843

^ Shin, J. E. L., ^ Rosenthal, L., Levy, S. R., ^ Lytle, A., London, B., & Lobel, M. (2016). The roles of the Protestant work ethic and perceived identity compatibility in graduate students' feelings and attitudes toward STEM and non-STEM fields. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. doi: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2016014763.

London, B., ^Ahlqvist, S., ^Gonzalez, A., ^^Glanton, K. & Thompson, G. (2014).
The social and educational consequences of identity-based rejection. Social Issues and Policy Review, 8(1), 131-166. doi: 10.1111/sipr.12004.

^Ahlqvist, S., London, B., & ^Rosenthal, L. (2013). How gender rejection sensitivity undermines the success of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. Psychological Science. Online First: doi: 10.1177/0956797613476048.

^Rosenthal, L., Levy, S., London, B., Lobel, M., & ^^Brazile, C. (2013). In pursuit of the MD: The impact of role models, identity compatibility, and belonging among undergraduate women. Sex Roles, 68(7-8), 464-473.

London, B., & ^Rosenthal, L. (2013). The social stigma of identity and status based rejection. The Handbook of Social Exclusion. C. Nathan Dewall (Ed). Oxford University Press.

London, B., Downey, G., Romero-Canyas, R, ^Rattan, A., & ^Tyson, D. (2012). Gender Rejection Sensitivity and academic self-silencing in women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102 (5), 961-979. doi: 10.1037/a0026615.

Cooper Davis, P, Coletu, E., London, B., & ^Yuan, W. (2011-2012) The Effects of Experiential Courses on Students' Learning, Emotional Health, and Sense of Professional Responsibility. New York Law School Law Review. 56 (2), 487-515.

London, B., Thompson, G., Anderson, V., and ^Velilla, E. (2012). Rejection Sensitivity. In R.J.R. Levesque (Ed). The Encyclopedia of Adolescence, pp. 2329-2334. Springer, US. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-1695-2_231.

London, B., ^Rosenthal, L., Levy, S. R., & Lobel, M. (2011). The Influences of Perceived Identity Compatibility and Social Support on Women in Non-traditional Fields during the College Transition. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 33(4), 304-321. doi: 10.1080/01973533.2011.614166.

London, B., Anderson, V., & Downey, G. (2011). Status Based Rejection Sensitivity and the Transition to Higher Education. S. Weinberg and L. Stulberg (Eds). Diversity in American Higher Education, Routledge.

London, B., ^Rosenthal, L., & ^Gonzalez, A. (2011) Assessing the role of gender rejection sensitivity, identity and support on the academic engagement of women in non- traditional fields using experience sampling methods. Journal of Social Issues, 67 (3), 510-530. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.2011.01712.x.

^Rosenthal, L., London, B., Levy. S.R., & Lobel, M. (2011). A test of the academic and social engagement model in a single-sex STEM program at a co-educational university. Sex Roles, 65(9-10), 725-736. doi: 10.1007/s11199-011-9945-0

^Rosenthal, L., London, B., Levy, S.R., Lobel, M., & ^Herrera-Alcazar. A. (2011). The
relation between the Protestant work ethic and undergraduate women’s perceived identity compatibility in STEM majors. Analysis of Social Issues and Public Policy, 11 (1), 241-262. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-2415.2011.01264.x.

London, B., Downey, G., Bonica, C., & ^ Paltin, I. (2007). Social causes and consequences of rejection sensitivity in adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 17(3), 481-506. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7795.2007.00531.x.

London, B., Downey, G., & ^^Mace, S. (2007). Psychological Theories of Educational Engagement: A multi-method approach to studying individual engagement and institutional change. Vanderbilt Law Review, 60 (2), 455-481.

London, B., Anderson, V., & Downey, G (2007). Studying Institutional Engagement: Utilizing social psychology research methods to study law student engagement. Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, 30 (2), 389-407.

Hart, D., Burock, D., London, B., Atkins, R., & Bonilla-Santiago, G. (2005). The relation
of personality types to physiological, behavioral, and cognitive processes. European Journal of Personality, 19(5), 391-407. doi: 10.1002/per.547.

London, B., Downey, G., Bolger, N., & ^Velilla, E. (2005). A framework for studying social identity and coping with daily stress during the transition to college. In G. Downey, J. Eccles, & C. Chatman, (Eds). Navigating the future: Social identity, coping, and life tasks. RSF Press: NY

Downey, G., Mougios, V., Ayduk, O., London, B., and Shoda, Y. (2004) Rejection
sensitivity and the startle response to rejection cues: A defensive motivational system approach. Psychological Science, 15(10), 668-673.

Dweck, C. S., & London, B. (2004). The role of mental representation in Social Development. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 50(4), 428-444.

Current Research Support:

Howard Hughes Medical Institute: HHMI 2017 Inclusive Excellence at Stony Brook (2017 – present).
Principal Investigator: Ross Nehm
Co-PI’s: Bonita London, Gregory Rushton, Scott Sutherland
Total Support: $1,000,000

National Science Foundation: NRT-IGE: PhD Career Ladder Program: A Grassroots Approach to Career Development.
Principal Investigator: Nancy Goroff
Co-PI’s: Kathleen Ehm, Bonita London, Jennifer DeLeon
Total Support: $488,339

National Science Foundation: The State University of New York (SUNY) LSAMP: Meeting the Grand Challenge of Preparing Students for Successful Transition into STEM Majors and Beyond (2016 – present).
Principal Investigator: Samuel Stanley (Stony Brook University President)
Co-PI’s: Bonita London, David Ferguson, Stacie Nunes, Shanice Kent
Total Support: $3,999,961

National Science Foundation: Fostering (STEM) Identity through the Transition (FIT) to College among Underrepresented Students. (2015 – present).
Principal Investigator: Bonita London
Co-PI’s: Sheri Levy, David Ferguson, Nina Maung-Gaona
Total Support: $349,500

National Science Foundation: AGEP-T Frontiers of Research and Academic Models of Excellence (2013 – present).
Principal Investigator: Charles Taber
Co-PI’s: Bonita London, David Ferguson, Kenneth White, Nina Maung-Gaona
Total Support: $1,407,991