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Photo of Stahl, Tomas

Tomas Stahl, PhD

Assistant Professor

Social & Personality, Program Chair


Building & Room:

1054B BSB


1007 W Harrison Street

Office Phone:

(312) 413-9407

Related Sites:

I am reviewing applications for fall 2024 Heading link

Dr. Ståhl will be reviewing applications for doctoral students to begin Fall 2024.


My primary research interests are in the area of moral psychology. Among other things, I try to determine what values people consider relevant for being a moral person, where these moral values come from, differences in views about morality between religious people and atheists, and the consequences of specific moral values for behavior.

Another research topic close to my heart is epistemic rationality; the extent to which our personal beliefs about the world map on to reality.  I study how various individual differences (e.g., values, abilities, and inclinations), and situational factors contribute to the formation of more (vs. less) epistemically rational beliefs.

Selected Publications

Ståhl, T., & Turner, J. (2021). Epistemic values and the Big Five: Personality characteristics of those who ascribe personal and moral value to epistemic rationality. PLoS ONE, 16(10): e0258228.

Ståhl, T., & Van Prooijen, J-W. (2021). Analytic atheism: Valuing epistemic rationality strengthens the association between analytic thinking and religious disbelief. Personality and Individual Differences, 179, 110914.

Ståhl, T. (2021). The amoral atheist? A cross-national examination of cultural, motivational, and cognitive antecedents of unbelief, and their implications for morality. PLoS ONE, 16(2): e0246593.

Ståhl, T, & Van Prooijen, J.-W. (2018). Epistemic rationality: Skepticism toward unfounded beliefs requires sufficient cognitive ability and motivation to be rational. Personality and Individual Differences, 122, 155-163.

Ståhl T., Zaal M. P., Skitka L. J. (2016). Moralized Rationality: Relying on Logic and Evidence in the Formation and Evaluation of Belief Can Be Seen as a Moral Issue. PLoS ONE 11(11): e0166332.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166332.

Ståhl, T., & Ellemers, N. (2016). Ironic effects of moral motivation: Why working toward a moral goal reduces subsequent perspective taking. Social Cognition34, 133-148.

Zaal, M. P., Van Laar, C., Ståhl, T., Ellemers, N., & Derks, B. (2015). “Self-promotion”: How regulatory focus affects the pursuit of self-interest at the expense of the group. European Journal of Social Psychology45, 587-598.

Van Prooijen, J-W., Ståhl, T., Eek, D., & Van Lange, P. A. M. (2012). Injustice for all or just for me? Social value orientation predicts responses to own versus other’s procedures. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 1247-1258.

Ståhl, T., Van Laar, C., Ellemers, N., & Derks, B. (2012). Searching for acceptance: Prejudice expectations direct attention towards social acceptance cues when under a promotion focus. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 15, 523-538.

Ståhl, T., Van Laar, C., & Ellemers, N. (2012). The role of prevention focus under stereotype threat: Initial cognitive mobilization is followed by depletion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102, 1239-1251.

Zaal, M. P., Van Laar, C., Ståhl, T., Ellemers, N., & Derks, B. (2012). Social change as an important goal or likely outcome: How regulatory focus affects commitment to collective action. British Journal of Social Psychology, 51, 93-110.