The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas

David S Yeager

Assistant ProfessorPh.D., Stanford University

Assistant Professor of Psychology
David S Yeager



Dr. Yeager received his PhD from Stanford University in 2011. Prior to his research career, he was a middle school teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In his substantive area of research, he studies adolescent development, with a focus on aggression, stress, and academic achievement. His approach is to conduct longitudinal, randomized field experiments at key transitions (e.g., the transition to high school or college) to investigate the role of social cognitive processes in shaping adolescents' developmental trajectories. This is because he believes that one good way to understand a developmental system is to try to change it. In addition, he draws on qualitative and correlational methodologies to examine developmental phenomena. In his current research, he is investigating the psychological causes of A) adolescents' reactions to peer exclusion or victimization, and B) changes in academic performance among racial minority adolescents at the transition to high school or college. This research has appeared or is scheduled to appear in Child Development, Developmental PsychologyJEP:General, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Educational Psychologist, Review of Educational Research, the Journal of Adolescent Research, and other outlets.

In his methodological research, he investigates the psychology of asking and answering questions, so as to optimize the accuracy of self-reports. In addition, he evaluates the accuracy of methods for sampling survey respondents (e.g., random samples and non-probability samples of Internet volunteers). His methodological research has appeared or is scheduled to appear in Public Opinion Quarterly, Developmental Psychology, and Medical Care.

Dr. Yeager will be accepting PhD students this year.  

Representative Publications (See lab site for full list of publications)

Yeager, D.S., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Yang, S., & Cohen, G.L. (in press). Declining institutional trust among racial and ethnic minority adolescents: Consequence of procedural injustice, cause of behavioral disengagement. Child Development.

Yeager, D.S., Romero, C., Paunesku, D., Hulleman, C., Schneider, B., Hinojosa, C., Lee, H.Y., O’Brien, J., Flint, K., Roberts, A., Trott, J., Walton, G.M. & Dweck, C.S. (in press). Using design thinking to make psychological interventions ready for scaling: The case of the growth mindset during the transition to high school. Journal of Educational Psychology. 

Miu, A. & Yeager, D.S. (2015). Preventing symptoms of depression by teaching adolescents that people can change:  Effects of a brief incremental theory of personality intervention at 9-month follow-up.  Clinical Psychological Science, 3, 726-743. 

Duckworth, A.L., & Yeager, D.S. (2015). Measurement matters: Assessing personal qualities other than cognitive ability. Educational Researcher, 44, 237-251.

Yeager, D.S., Henderson, M., Paunesku, D., Walton, G., Spitzer, B., D’Mello, S., & Duckworth, A.L. (2014). Boring but important: A self-transcendent purpose for learning fosters academic self-regulation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107, 559-580.

Yeager, D.S., Johnson, R., Spitzer, B., Trzesniewski, K., Powers, J., & Dweck, C.S. (2014). The far-reaching effects of believing people can change: Implicit theories of personality shape stress, health, and achievement during adolescence.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 867-884

Yeager, D.S., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Garcia, J., Apfel, N., Pebley, P., Master, A., Hessert, W., Williams, M. & Cohen, G.L. (2014). Breaking the cycle of mistrust: Wise interventions to provide critical feedback across the racial divide. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General143, 804-824.

Yeager, D.S., Miu, A.*, Powers, J., & Dweck, C.S. (2013). Implicit theories of personality and attributions of hostile intent: A meta-analysis, an experiment, and a longitudinal intervention. Child Development, 84, 1651-1667.

Yeager, D.S., Trzesniewski, K., & Dweck, C.S. (2013).  An implicit theories of personality intervention reduces adolescent aggression in response to victimization and exclusion. Child Development, 84, 970-988.

Yeager, D.S. & Dweck, C.S. (2012). Mindsets that promote resilience: When students believe that personal characteristics can be developed. Educational Psychologist, 47, 1-13.

Yeager, D.S., Bundick, M.J. & Johnson, B. (2012). The role of future work goal motives in adolescent identity development: A longitudinal mixed-methods investigation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 37, 206-217.

Yeager, D.S. & Krosnick, J. (2011).  Does mentioning “some people” and “other people” in a survey question increase the accuracy of adolescents’ self-reports? Developmental Psychology, 47, 1674-1679.

Yeager, D.S., Trzesniewski, K., Tirri, K., Nokelainen, P., & Dweck, C.S. (2011). Adolescents’ implicit theories predict desire for vengeance: Correlational and experimental evidence. Developmental Psychology, 47, 1090-1107.

Yeager, D.S. & Walton, G. (2011). Social-psychological interventions in education: They’re not magic. Review of Educational Research, 81, 267-301.

Yeager, D.S., Krosnick, J., Chang, L-C., Javitz, H., Levendusky, M., Simpser, A. & Wang, R. (2011). Comparing the accuracy of RDD telephone surveys and Internet surveys conducted with probability and non-probability samples. Public Opinion Quarterly, 75, 709-747.

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