Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College


Gail Sahar

Gail Sahar

Professor of Psychology
Associate Provost

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

Main Interests

Social and Political Psychology

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.

Teaching Interests

Social Psychology, Political Psychology, Research Methods

Other Interests

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


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.

Student Projects

One honors thesis I supervised 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.

Another recent student project examined the effects of perceptions of causal responsibility, race, and gender on attitudes toward people with HIV/AIDS.