W. Connor Gibbs

W. Connor Gibbs

Graduate Student



David Sherman

Research Area

Social Psychology


Connor Gibbs received his B.A. with Honors in Psychology from Westmont College. Beginning in 2016, Connor has worked as an independent research consultant focusing on implicit bias workshop development and evaluation. He has worked with organizations such as the Santa Barbara Police Department, the University of California, and the California State University. Connor continues to contribute to a number of consulting projects while also overseeing his own laboratory based research projects as part of the Sherman Lab. Connor pursues rigorous laboratory research with the aim of developing sufficient process understanding to wisely apply psychological theory to improve the lives of others. When he's not working, Connor enjoys exploring the beautiful Santa Barbara mountains and beaches as well as trying new recipes.


Connor Gibbs' research broadly addresses how we respond to various forms of threat and interventions to mitigate the negative effects of those threats. More specifically, this plays out in Connor's three primary research programs:

Need for Structure & Belonging: Military veterans face significant challenges during their transition from military to civilian employment. Connor investigates how lack of structure in one's new civilian environment may contribute to the challenging transition many veterans experience. Connor also explores ways that civilian organizations may be able to better adapt in order to address the unique needs of their veteran employees.

Implicit Bias & Stereotyping: As an independent research consultant, Connor develops and investigates the effectiveness of implicit bias workshops on influencing attitudinal and behavioral change. Partnering with Carmel Saad Consulting and Just Communities Central Coast, Connor has worked with a variety of organizations including the Santa Barbara Unified School District, the Santa Barbara Police Department, the University of California, and the California State University.

Social Comparison & Social Media: Despite its benefits, social media has the potential to have significant negative impacts on its users through the social comparison it encourages. Connor investigates ways to mitigate the negative effects of social media, focusing on the threat of social comparison.

[Military veterans' transition, sense of belonging, culture, media & technology]