Mark Landau, Ph.D.

Mark Landau, Ph.D.

Mark Landau

Mark J. Landau is an Associate Professor at the University of Kansas. He received his doctorate from the University of Arizona in 2007. Dr. Landau has published many articles and chapters on metaphor's influence on social cognition and behavior as well as the role of existential motives in diverse aspects of social behavior. He has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health.

Assistant Professor,
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Ph.D. Social Psychology, University of Arizona

Contact Information


Research Interests

Mark Landau is an Assistant Professor who joined the Psychology Department at the University of Kansas after receiving his degree from the University of Arizona. He is currently pursuing two lines of research within the fields of social and cognitive psychology. One focuses on the cognitive mechanisms through which people make meaningful sense of themselves and their social world. Using conceptual metaphor theory as a framework, he investigates how people use metaphors at a basic conceptual level (and not "merely" a linguistic level) to understand abstract aspects of their social world (e.g., authenticity) in terms of dissimilar, relatively more concrete concepts (e.g., physical expansion), as well the consequences of metaphoric cognition for people's social attitudes, behavior, and functioning. The second line of research focuses on the psychological roots of human motivation. Inspired by perspectives in existential psychology, he investigates the role of deep-seated existential concerns (e.g., with mortality) in people's efforts to construct and maintain meaningful conceptions of the social world and their own lives, and the impact of existential motivations on social attitudes and achievement. Please feel free to contact Dr. Landau if you would like more information about these lines of research, or if you would like to participate in them as a graduate student or research assistant.


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