Tessa Dover, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Applied Social Psychology

Department of Psychology

317 Cramer Hall

Portland State University

1721 SW Broadway

Portland, OR 97207-0751


Email: tdover@pdx.edu

Website: tessadover.com

Dr. Dover is looking for graduate students for Fall 2019. Please contact her with questions.


Dr. Dover received her B.A. in Psychology from Claremont McKenna College in 2011. She then conducted her graduate work with Dr. Brenda Major at UC Santa Barbara, and received her Ph.D. in Psychological and Brain Sciences (emphasis in Social Psychology) in 2017. Tessa joined the faculty at Portland State in 2017.


Dr. Dover’s research investigates the psychological, biological, and behavioral effects of group-based fairness and unfairness. Specifically, she investigates how members of advantaged and disadvantaged groups behave in unequal social systems, and the ways in which these unequal social systems shape health and well-being. Her specific lines of research include: 

(1) How discrimination and beliefs about fairness influence the psychological and biological resiliency of those disadvantaged by unequal social systems. 

(2) The positive and unintended negative consequences of organizational diversity initiatives for under-represented groups.

(3) The subtle strategies that members of advantaged groups use to avoid the discomfort of acknowledging their own privilege. 

Dr. Dover’s research utilizes several methodologies, including laboratory experiments, daily diary studies, and experimental work in applied legal and organizational settings. In addition to classic self-report and behavioral outcomes, she assesses an array of psychophysiological outcomes including cardiovascular, immunological, and hormonal functioning.  

To learn more about Dr. Dover’s research, visit her website here: tessadover.com. To apply to be a research assistant in Dr. Dover’s lab, follow this link: tessadover.com/lab


At Portland State University, Dr. Dover teaches courses on Social Psychology, Stigma and Social Inequality, and Psychophysiological Methods.