Social Psychology | Decision Science | Data Analytics

Research Interests

Broadly, I am interested in understanding how social context, culture, and biology mutually influence behavior. I use experimental and neuroimaging methods to study how people learn about their social world (social relationships, social and cultural norms, etc.) and how this internalized knowledge about the social world in turn influences their thoughts, behaviors, and decisions.

While in graduate school I used both behavioral and fMRI experiments to study how social and cultural factors influence decision-making, primarily in consumer and health contexts. In more recent work, I have used conceptual frameworks and computational tools from the emerging field of network neuroscience to advance understanding of how networks of brain regions contribute to decision-making. Focusing on both culture and social networks, I study how people acquire and internalize information about their social context, and how that information in turn influences human behavior and decision-making. My research has examined this in four key ways: how culture influences decision-making, how social networks influence the effects of persuasive messages on health behaviors and decisions, how culture and genes interact to influence beliefs, values, and emotional experience, and how people learn information about social networks. In future work, I plan to expand upon this work by examining how culture and social network structure influence how people learn information about their social networks, as well as how these processes develop over time, influence interpersonal relationships, and facilitate acculturation processes in recent immigrants.



Tompson, S.H., Falk, E.B., O’Donnell, M.B., Cascio, C.N., Bayer, J.B., Vettel., J.M., & Bassett, D.S. Response inhibition in adolescents is moderated by brain connectivity and social network structure. (Github Repository)

Botvinik-Nezer, R., Holzmeister, F., Camerer, C. F., Dreber, A., Huber, J., Johannesson, M., et al. Variability in the analysis of a single neuroimaging dataset by many teams.

In Press

Tompson, S.H., Kahn, A.E., Falk, E.B., Vettel., J.M., & Bassett, D.S. (in press). Functional brain network architecture supporting the learning of social networks in humans. Neuroimage. (Github Repository)


Bansal, K., Verstynen, T., Garcia, J.O., Tompson, S.H., Vettel, J.M., & Muldoon, S.F. (2019). Cognitive chimera states in human brain networks. Science Advances.

Doré, B.P., Tompson, S.H., O’Donnell, M.B., & Falk, E.B. (2019). Neural mechanisms of emotion regulation moderate the predictive value of affective and value-related brain responses to persuasive messages. Journal of Neuroscience.

Tompson, S.H., Bassett, D.S., Falk, E.B., & Vettel., J.M. (2019). Using neuroimaging to predict behavior: An overview with a focus on the moderating role of sociocultural context. In P. Davis, A. O’Mahony, & J. Pfautz (Eds.), Social Behavioral Modeling for Complex Systems.

Tompson, S.H., Kahn, A.E., Falk, E.B., Vettel., J.M., & Bassett, D.S. (2019). Individual differences in learning social and non-social network structures. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.


Cooper, N., Garcia, J.O., Tompson, S.H., O’Donnell, M.B., Falk, E.B., & Vettel, J.M. (2018). Time-evolving dynamics in brain networks forecast responses to health messaging. Network Neuroscience.

Cooper, N., Tompson, S.H., O'Donnell, M. B., Vettel, J. M., Bassett, D. S., & Falk, E. B. (2018). Associations between coherent neural activity in the brain's value system during antismoking messages and reductions in smoking. Health psychology.

Javanbakht, A., Tompson, S.H., Yoon, C., King, T., Kitayama, S., & Liberzon, I. (2018). Gene by culture effects on emotional processing of social cues among Asians and European Americans. Behavioral Sciences.

San Martin, A., Sinaceur, M., Maddux, W.W., Tompson, S.H., Madi, A., & Kitayama, S. (2018). Self-assertive interdependence in Arab culture. Nature Human Behavior.

Tompson, S.H., Falk, E.B., Vettel, J.M., & Bassett, D.S. (2018). Network Approaches to Understand Individual Differences in Brain Connectivity: Opportunities for Personality Neuroscience. Personality Neuroscience.

Tompson, S.H., Huff, S., Yoon, C., King, A., Liberzon, I., & Kitayama, S. (2018). The dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) modulates cultural variation in emotional experience. Culture and Brain.


Pegors, T., Tompson, S., O’Donnell, M.B., & Falk, E.B. (2017). Predicting behavior change from persuasive messages using neural representational similarity and social network analyses. Neuroimage.


Tompson, S., Chua, H.F., & Kitayama, S. (2016). Connectivity between mPFC and PCC predicts post-choice attitude change: The self-referential processing hypothesis of choice justification. Human Brain Mapping.


Cooper, N., Tompson, S., O’Donnell, M.B., & Falk, E.B. (2015). Brain activity in self- and value-related regions in response to online antismoking messages predicts behavior change. Journal of Media Psychology.

Falk, E.B., O’Donnell, M.B., Tompson, S., Gonzalez, R., Dal Cin, S., Strecher, V., & An, L. (2015). Functional brain imaging predicts public health campaign success. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

Hyde, L.W., Tompson, S., Creswell, J.D., & Falk, E.B. (2015). Cultural neuroscience: New directions as the field matures – What do cultural neuroscience findings mean? Culture and Brain.

Kitayama, S. & Tompson, S. (2015). The biosocial model of dissonance: Connecting brain, behavior, and culture. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology.

Tompson, S., Lieberman, M.D., & Falk, E.B. (2015). Grounding the neuroscience of behavior change in the sociocultural context. Current Opinions in Behavioral Sciences.


Kitayama, S., King, A., Yoon, C., Tompson, S., Huff, S., & Liberzon, I. (2014). The Dopamine Receptor Gene (DRD4) Moderates Cultural Difference in Independent versus Interdependent Social Orientation. Psychological Science.

Kitayama, S., Tompson, S., & Chua, H.F. (2014). Neuro-cultural mechanisms of choice justification: Culture, dissonance, and the brain. In J. Forgas & E. Harmon-Jones (Eds.), Control Within: Motivation and its Regulation.


Kitayama, S., Chua, H.F., Tompson, S., & Han, S. (2013). Neural mechanisms of dissonance: An fMRI investigation of choice justification. Neuroimage.


Kitayama, S. & Tompson, S. (2010). Envisioning the future of cultural neuroscience. Asian Journal of Social Psychology.