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Memoir

Oscar Ybarra
Regents' Proceedings

Oscar Ybarra, Ph.D., professor of psychology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and professor of management and organizations in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 2021.

Professor Ybarra received his B.A. (1988) degree and M.A. (1990) degrees from Sul Ross State University and his M.A. (1993) degree and his Ph.D. (1996) degree from New Mexico State University. Professor Ybarra joined the University of Michigan faculty as an assistant professor of psychology in 1996, and was promoted to associate professor in 2001, and professor in 2009. He received an additional appointment as professor of management and organizations in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business in 2016. Professor Ybarra became a faculty associate in the Research Center for Group Dynamics in the Institute for Social Research in 1996 and a faculty affiliate in Organization Studies in 2010. He was the director of Innovate Blue from 2014-17.

Professor Ybarra is a rigorous and creative scholar who has made many influential contributions to our understanding of social and organizational life, focusing on the successes and failures in the ways people connect with one other. In early work, he traced the impact of psychological threat on prejudice against immigrants and across the racial divide. His 2002 Personality and Social Psychology article on racial prejudice received the Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. His Negotiation and Conflict Management Research work on cultural differences in folk theories about interpersonal conflict received the best empirical paper award from the International Association of Conflict Management. In more recent years, he has been a constant presence in an ambitious research team examining the impact, not all positive, of social media on the well-being of its users. He has published over 70 articles in such wide-ranging venues as Biological Psychology, Emotion, and Academy of Management Perspectives, reporting insights on the psychology of self, the impact of social interaction on cognitive functioning, and peoples’ focus on morality versus competence across the lifespan. A skilled teacher, he ably guided Innovate Blue during its early years. He also served as an astute mentor to many Ph.D. candidates learning the craft of research.

The Regents now salute this distinguished faculty member by naming Oscar Ybarra, professor emeritus of psychology and professor emeritus of management and organizations.