Allen Omoto


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Allen M. Omoto, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology in the Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA.  He earned his B.A. from Kalamazoo College and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

He is a social psychologist whose research interests are focused on interpersonal processes, specifically on the social and psychological aspects of volunteerism.  He has published numerous articles and chapters on topics related to volunteerism and civic participation.  His current research includes a multi-year study creating and tracking the effects of psychological sense of community among clients, volunteers, and staff in AIDS service organizations, and a project examining volunteerism, religiosity, and physical and psychological health among older adults living in retirement communities.  These projects utilize diverse research methodologies and have been supported by federal and private foundation research grants.

In addition to these projects, Dr. Omoto has research interests related to close relationships, HIV disease, and lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues.  He also has extensive public policy experience, including helping to found and administer a community-based AIDS service organization and working in the US Congress as the American Psychological Association’s inaugural William A. Bailey AIDS Policy Congressional Fellow. 

He has served on the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns of the American Psychological Association, and on the Executive Committee of the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues.  He is the former Chair of the Training Committee for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and has served on the governing Council of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and the Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Omoto works closely with several students on research projects of mutual interest.  He supervises both MA and PhD students.  Recent dissertations completed under his supervision include:

  • Prosocial Behavior Beyond Borders: Understanding a Psychological Sense of Global Community
  • Relationship Maintenance Behaviors in Marital Relationships
  • Motivations for Volunteerism Over the Lifespan

His teaching interests in social psychology include core courses in Overview of Social Psychology and Close Relationship Processes.  He also regularly teaches several courses of broad interest, including Psychology and Social Policy, Grant Writing, and Gender and Sexuality.

Email Address:

Applied Social Psychology Programs at CGU

Institute for Research on Social Issues


Selected Recent Publications

Mannino, C A., Snyder, M., & Omoto, A. M. (2011). Why do people get involved? Motivations for volunteerism and other forms of social action. In D. Dunning (Ed.), Social motivations (pp. 127-146). New York: Psychology 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. (2010). Influences of psychological sense of community on voluntary helping and prosocial action. In S. Stürmer & M. Snyder (Eds.), The psychology of prosocial behavior: Group processes, intergroup relations, and helping (pp. 223-243). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

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