Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

James M. Jones

James M. Jones

Professor James Jones' major interests concern psychosocial mechanisms for adapting to and coping with the chronic accessibility of racism as a potential explanation for life’s experiences. This “Universal context of racism” (UCR), has motivational consequences that include both self-protection (reducing the negative effects of stigma and discrimination) and self-enhancement (social comparative and individual mechanisms for maintaining self-worth). Research in our lab focuses on the cognitive, emotional and behavioral responses to activation of the UCR for both targets of racism and members of groups historically viewed as the perpetrators of racism.

The second major area of work explores the implication of TRIOS, a psychological worldview that combines African-inspired processes of Time, Rhythm Improvisation, Orality and Spirituality as an individual differences construct that predicts overall positive psychological states, and effective coping with challenging circumstances. A self-report measure of TRIS has been developed and is to assess individual variations in TRIOS level and their effects on responses to and coping with the UCR.

The third area of research is the social psychology of time. That interest is concerned with individual orientations toward the past, present and future, and how those differences in temporal perspective may influence the development of achievement motivations and personal expressive styles. The Temporal Orientation Scale (TOS) shows reliable differences between Past (high neuroticism, pessimism and depression), Present(optimism, extraversion, and impulsivity and lack of concern with future consequences) and Future (conscientiousness, concern with future consequences, goal-directed behavior and optimism). This interest also involves determining how cognitive and emotional factors influence the perception of the passage of time.

Primary Interests:

  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Self and Identity


Journal Articles:

  • Brown, W. T., & Jones, J. M. (2004). The substance of things hoped for: A study of the future orientation, minority status perceptions, academic engagement, and academic performance of Black high school students. Journal of Black Psychology, 30(2), 248-273.
  • Jones, J. M. (2003) TRIOS: A psychological theory of African legacy in American culture. Journal of Social Issues, 59, 217-241.
  • Jones, J. M. (1998). Psychological knowledge and the new American dilemma of race. Journal of Social Issues, 54, 638-652.
  • Jones, J. M. , Lynch, P. D., Tenglund, A. A., & Gaertner , S. G. (2000). Toward a diversity hypothesis: Multidimensional effects of intergroup contact. Applied and Preventive Psychology, 9(1), 53-62.
  • Lasane, T. P., & Jones, J. M. (1999). Temporal orientation and academic goal-setting: The mediating properties of a motivational self. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 14(1), 31-44.
  • Lasane, T. P., & Jones, J. M. (1999). When socially induced temporal myopia interferes with academic goal-setting. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 14(5), 1-12.

Other Publications:

  • Jones, J. M. (1999) Cultural racism: The intersection of race and culture in intergroup conflict. In D. Prentice and D. Miller (Eds.), Culture divides: Understanding and overcoming group conflict. (pp. 465-490). New York: Russell Sage.
  • Jones, J. M. (1999). Toward a cultural psychology of African Americans. In W.J. Lonner, D. L. Dinnel, D. K. Forgays, and S. A. Hayes (Eds.), Merging past, present and future: Selected proceedings of the 14th International Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (pp.52-62). Lisse, The Netherlands: Sweets and Zeitlinger.
  • Jones, J. M. (1994). An exploration of temporality in human behavior. In R. C. Schank & E. Langer (Eds.), Beliefs, reasoning and decision-making: Psycho-logic in honor of Bob Abelson (pp. 389-411). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Jones, J. M. (1988). Cultural and individual differences in temporal orientation. In J. McGrath (Ed.), Research toward a social psychology of time. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Jones, J. M. (1983). The concept and usage of race in social psychology: From color to culture. In L. Wheeler & P. Shaver (Eds.), Review of personality and social psychology, Vol. 4. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.

Courses Taught:

  • Cultural Psychology of African Americans
  • Psychological Perspectives on Black Americans
  • Psychology of Temporality

James M. Jones
Department of Psychology
University of Delaware
Newark, Delaware 19716
United States of America

  • Phone: (302) 831-2489
  • Fax: (302) 831-3645

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