David C. Matz


Memorial Hall 328
CB 44

Dave Matz, Ph.D., is a social psychologist with interests in groups and group decision making, cognitive dissonance, evolutionary psychology and mate selection, and the relationship between religion and prejudice. He is the author of numerous articles on these topics and serves as a reviewer for several scientific journals. Dave recently established an eye-tracking lab at Augsburg and is currently using that technology to study the relationship between physical features, attention, and the perceptions of desirable characteristics in potential mates.

As an instructor, Dave is intentional about conveying his enthusiasm for psychology. He understands that when an instructor is excited about the material, students are more likely to take an interest and put forth the effort needed to learn. He makes a point of getting to know students early on so that he can understand their strengths and weaknesses as well as their aspirations. This enables him to provide extra support to those who need it and extra challenges for those who excel.

Dave describes the Psychology Department at Augsburg as “a warm, vibrant community of students and faculty.” He notes that the department places an emphasis on the science of psychology allowing students to develop critical thinking skills that will aid them in the eventual career and allow them to be life-long learners.


  • B.A. Bemidji State University
  • M.S. North Dakota State University
  • Ph.D. Texas A & M University

Selected Scholarship

Selected publications

Hinsz, V. B., Spieker, C. J., & Matz, D. C. (2013). The intermingling of social and evolutionary influences on hair color preferences. Current Psychology, 32, 136-149.

Hall, D. L., Matz, D. C., & Wood, W. (2010). Why don’t we practice what we preach? A meta-analytic review of religious racism. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 14, 126-139. Download PDF

Matz, D. C., Hofstedt, P. M., & Wood, W. (2008). Extraversion as a moderator of the cognitive dissonance associated with disagreement. Personality and Individual Differences, 45, 401-405. Download PDF

Matz, D. C., & Hause, E. L. (2008). “Dealing” with the central limit theorem. Teaching of Psychology, 35, 198-200.

Matz, D. C., & Wood, W. (2005). Cognitive dissonance in groups: The consequences of disagreement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 22-37. Download PDF

Christensen, P. N., Rothgerber, H., Wood, W., & Matz, D. C. (2004). Social norms and identity relevance: A motivational approach to normative behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 1295-1309.

Hinsz, V. B., Matz, D. C., & Patience, R. A. (2001). Does women’s hair signal reproductive potential? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 37, 166-172.

Recent presentations

Lea, R. B., & Matz, D. C. (2015). Disseminating science at a science museum. To be presented at the 2015 National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology, St. Petersburg, FL.

Matz, D. C., & Lea, R. B. (2014). Developing collaborative teaching and research laboratories at undergraduate institutions. Presented at the 2014 National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology, St. Petersburg, FL.

Petaisto, S. S. P., Matz, D. C., & Manning, H. B. (2014). Does a woman’s hair length and color affect perceptions and attentional focus? Presented at the 2013 meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Austin, TX.

Lea, R. B., & Matz, D. C. (2013). Eyes on the prize: Using new laboratory equipment to develop undergraduate curriculum. Presented at the 2013 National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology, St. Petersburg, FL.

Manning, H. B., Matz, D. C., & Rebman, P. (2013). The influence of a target’s hair length and color on attentional focus. Presented at the 2013 meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, New Orleans, LA.

Wheatcroft, S. C., & Matz, D. C. (2012). Word frequency usage as a signal to intellectual fitness. Presented at the meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago.

Matz, D. C., Hall, D. L. & Wood, W. (2011). Sex differences in values determines religious racism. Presented at the meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Antonio, TX.

Grant Support

Lea, R. B., & Matz, D. C. (2011). Eye-trackers for the behavioral sciences at Macalester and Augsburg Colleges. National Science Foundation – TUES Grant. Approved May, 24 – $195,392.

Frequently Taught Courses

  • PSY 325 – Social Behavior
  • PSY 315 – Research Methods & Statistics II
  • PSY 215 – Research Methods & Statistics I
  • PSY 105 – Principles of Psychology

Primary Research Interests

  • Groups and group decision making
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Religion and prejudice
  • Person perception and mate selection


  • Society for Personality and Social Psychology
  • Society for the Teaching of Psychology
  • Midwestern Psychological Association
  • Association for Psychological Science