Allen Omoto

Allen M. Omoto, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Institute for Research on Social Issues (; he has been a faculty member at CGU since fall 2000.   He earned his B.A. (with Honors) from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, MI, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.  Among other honors, Dr. Omoto has received a Distinguished Contribution to Education and Training Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues, a Distinguished Service Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and the Western Psychological Association’s Social Responsibility Award.

Dr. Omoto is a social psychologist whose research interests generally focus on interpersonal processes, but specifically on the social and psychological aspects of prosocial behavior and civic and political engagement, including volunteerism.  He also conducts research on issues related to the environment, HIV disease, and lesbian, gay, and bisexual concerns.  Dr. Omoto uses multiple methodologies in his research, and his work has been supported by funding from federal and foundation sources.  He has edited two research-based volumes, and his research has been published in a wide range of peer reviewed journal articles, chapters, and other professional and general public outlets.

In recent research, Dr. Omoto worked with community based organizations to conduct a multi-year, multi-site field-based intervention study of psychological sense of community among people affected by HIV disease, including tracking physical and mental health impact over time.  In addition, he used qualitative and quantitative methodologies to investigate motives for and effects of volunteering and political involvement among diverse adults, ethnic group differences in perceptions of and engagement in environmental causes, and quality of life and civic engagement among older adults.  In another recent project, he and his students used secondary data analyses of a California statewide data set as well as face-to-face interviews to investigate sources of stress, resilience factors, and physical and mental health among lesbian, gay, and bisexual immigrants.

Early in his professional career, Dr. Omoto worked at the grassroots in helping found and then administer a community-based AIDS service organization.  This frontline experience with community organizing and delivering support and educational services, especially for vulnerable and stigmatized populations, led him to pursue broader-level policy experience.  Specifically, he served as a legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives as the inaugural William A. Bailey AIDS Policy Congressional Fellow of the American Psychological Association.     

Dr. Omoto is a member or Fellow of numerous professional societies and has extensive leadership and governance experience.  He has held many roles in the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, a multidisciplinary Society that has a long-standing commitment to social justice and scientifically-informed policy (  He has served on its governing Council and also as its elected President.  He is the current President Elect of the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues (  This Society seeks to promote psychological research, training, services, and public education about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and issues.  Dr. Omoto also has held numerous leadership roles in the American Psychological Association, a scientific and professional organization that is the world’s largest professional association of psychologists (  Specifically, he has served on its main legislative body, the Council of Representatives, and also on the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (including as chair).  He also has served on the APA Committee on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns, and on two different specially appointed policy work groups.

At CGU, Dr. Omoto supervises research and actively advises and mentors graduate students.  He works closely with both MA and Ph.D. students on research topics of mutual interest.  Currently, he maintains research groups devoted to volunteerism and prosocial action, environmental concerns, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues.  Dr. Omoto regularly teaches courses on social psychological theory and history as well as on interpersonal processes.  He also teaches courses on sexuality and gender, grant writing, psychology and social policy, a research practicum, and a transdisciplinary course on civic engagement and civil society.  Dr. Omoto is an active participant in university governance at CGU.  He has served on several university-wide committees, including the Faculty Executive Committee; Affirmative Action and Diversity; Research; the Institutional Review Board; Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure; and also on President Review and President Search committees.

Email Address:

Applied Social Psychology Programs at CGU

Institute for Research on Social Issues


Selected Recent Publications

Boyle, S., & Omoto, A. M. (2014). Lesbian community oughts and ideals: Normative fit, depression, and anxiety among young sexual minority women.  Psychology of Women Quarterly, 38, 33-45.

Dwyer, P., Snyder, M., & Omoto, A. M. (2013). When stigma-by-association threatens, self-esteem helps: Self-esteem protects volunteers in stigmatizing contexts.  Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 35, 88-97.

Omoto, A.M., Snyder, M., & Hackett, J.D. (2012).  Everyday helping and responses to crises: A model for understanding volunteerism.  In K.J. Jonas & T. Morton (Eds.), Restoring civil societies: The psychology of intervention and engagement following crisis (pp. 98-118).  Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Omoto, A.M. (2012). Social policy: Barriers and opportunities for personality and social psychology.  In K. Deaux & M. Snyder (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of personality and social psychology (pp. 804-829). New York: Oxford University Press.

Marcus, B.J., Omoto, A. M., & Winter, P.L. (2011). Environmentalism and community: Connections and implications for social action.  Ecopsychology, 3, 11-24.

Omoto, A. M., Snyder, M., & Hackett, J. D. (2010). Personality and motivational antecedents of activism and civic engagement. Journal of Personality, 78, 1703-1734.