Leslie Johnson, Ph.D.
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Leslie Johnson, Assistant Professor, Psychology



Dr. Johnson is a native Michigander, born and raised in the Lansing area. After graduating top of her class from Holt Senior High School, she attended the Michigan State University (MSU) where she received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology with High Honors in 2005. At MSU, Professor Johnson developed her love for psychology and women’s studies, volunteering in a personality psychology research laboratory and conducting a senior honors thesis on weight-based prejudice. Upon completing her degree at MSU, she moved to the Green Mountain State of Vermont to study social psychology under the mentorship of Dr. Elizabeth C. Pinel at the University of Vermont (UVM). At UVM, Professor Johnson honed her passion for social psychological research focusing on the role of the self in relationships with stigmatized others. Her master’s thesis examined the role of shared subjective experiences (I-sharing) in reducing stigma toward people commonly termed obese. Her dissertation focused on individual differences that predict the likelihood of stigmatizing others based upon their body weights. In addition to building her love of research, during her time at UVM, Professor Johnson discovered her passion for teaching.

Dr. Johnson joined the faculty of the Suomi College of Arts and Sciences at Finlandia University in the Fall of 2011. Since arriving at Finlandia, she has collaborated with her colleagues to revamp the Psychology major and to create a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. Outside of the classroom, she serves on the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and is a co-advisor for Finlandia’s First Year Honor’s Society. As the Director of Self and Social Interactions Laboratory, Dr. Johnson is always looking for students who are eager to learn about and engage in social psychological research. Her current research interests include: the self in interpersonal relationships, stigma, I-sharing, and the history of psychology.

Representative Publications

Johnson, L.C., & Rentmeester, C. (under review). I don’t need conflict to change Me: The implications of I-sharing research for the legacy of William James’s Me and the I. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology.

Johnson, L.C., Pinel, E.C., & Long, A.E. (under review). Beyond appearances: I-sharing as a means to reduce weight bias. Basic and Applied Social Psychology.

Pinel, E.C., Long, A.E., & Crimin (Johnson), L.A. (2010). I-sharing and a classic conformity paradigm. Social Cognition, 28, 277-289.

Pinel, E.C., Long, A.E., & Crimin (Johnson), L.A. (2008). We’re warmer (they’re more competent):I-sharing and African Americans’ perceptions of the ingroup and outgroup. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 1184-1192.