Kris Vasquez, Ph.D.


Areas of expertise

  • Bullying
  • Mob violence
  • School violence
  • Prejudice (including racism, sexism, homophobia and weight prejudice)
  • Pro-social behavior (when and why people help others and why they don’t when they should)
  • Social identity and social exclusion
  • Interracial marriage and mixed-race children
  • Body image and self-esteem
  • Destructive obedience (“just following orders”)
  • Behavioral economics (how natural human biases complicate economic models)


Kris Vasquez is a professor of Psychology at Alverno College, and was previously the Research Director for the Alverno College Research Center for Women and Girls. In her role as Research Director, Vasquez played a large part in putting together the Research Center for Women and Girls’ “Bullying: A Prevention Toolkit,” and is well-versed in the topic of bullying and how to deal with it. She has appeared on 12 News, 4th Street Forum, The Morning Blend and on AM620. A lifelong martial artist, Vasquez also spends her Saturdays teaching practical self-defense to young children, some of whom have used those techniques to fend off bullies’ attacks.

Vasquez has written numerous texts on topics ranging from racism to how emotional ties affect a person’s ability to meet the challenges of work and family responsibilities. She has given presentations on body image, prejudice, and critical thinking in numerous venues across the United States. She has been invited to speak to the executives of international corporations on the subject of behavioral economics, in order to allow them use psychological principles to increase the accuracy of their strategic plans.

Vasquez is a member of the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and the Delta Kappa Gamma Society. She is a former Chair of the Developing a Global Perspective department at Alverno.