Mark J. Landau is an Associate Professor at the University of Kansas. He received his doctorate from the University of Arizona in 2007. Dr. Landau has published many articles and chapters on metaphor’s influence on social cognition and behavior as well as the role of existential motives in diverse aspects of social behavior. He has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health.
Ph.D., Psychology, University of Arizona
M.A., Psychology, University of Colorado
B.A., Psychology, Skidmore College
Our lab’s research interests generally revolve around two major themes within the fields of social and cognitive psychology. One focuses on the cognitive mechanisms through which people make meaningful sense of themselves and their social world. Using conceptual metaphor theory as a framework, we investigate how people use metaphors at a conceptual level (and not merely a linguistic level) to understand abstract aspects of their social world (e.g., authenticity) in terms of dissimilar, relatively more concrete concepts (e.g., physical expansion), as well the consequences of metaphoric cognition for people's social attitudes, behavior, and functioning.
The second line of research focuses on the psychological roots of human motivation. Inspired by perspectives in experimental existential psychology, particularly terror management theory and attachment theory, we investigate how deep-seated existential concerns fuel people's efforts to construct and maintain meaningful conceptions of the social world and their own lives, and the impact of existential motivations on social attitudes and achievement.
Landau, Mark J., (Principal), Cognitive and emotional processes of metaphoric cancer communications., R01 CA185378, NIH / National Cancer Institute (R01), $1,400,000, (01/01/2014 - 12/31/2018) . Federal. Status: Funded.
Selected Awards & Honors
Recipient, 2017 American Psychological Association (APA) Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology (a.k.a. APA Early Career Award).
American Psychological Association
2016 - Present