Gary S. Gregg

Professor of Psychology
Kalamazoo College




Current Research



Morocco Photos
Egypt & Morocco Photos 2003

Life-Narrative Studies of Identity

As a personality psychologist I work in the "study of lives" tradition pioneered by Henry Murray, Robert White, and Erik Erikson, which entails investigating single lives in depth. In my research, I conduct open-ended interviews to elict life-stories, beliefs, and values, and then draw on a variety of narrative analysis methods -- especially those associated with Levi-Strauss, Ricoeur, and Bakhtin -- to study how people construct and shift among multiple identities.

Self-Representation         Greenwood Press 1991        more info

Culture and Identity: Life-Narrative Studies in Morocco                            Oxford U. Press 2007           more info

Cultural Psychology: Morocco and the Middle East

I am interested in how culture shapes development across the life-span, and especially the development of identity in early adulthood. I lived and did field work in Morocco for five years, conducting an ethnography of the Berber-speaking Imeghrane of the High Atlas - Dades Valley region, and then using life-history interviews to study identity development among educated young adults in villages and small towns around Ouarzazate (see Publications).

The Middle East: A Cultural Psychology
                                         Oxford U. Press 2005                 more info

Social Values of "Millennial" Young Adults

My students and I have just completed a study of 60 18 to 24 year old young adults that investigated their religious, social, and moral values using two to four hour open-ended "study of lives" interviews. We also conducted 16 focus groups to investigate their views of the new digital media -- smart phones, social networking, the internet, etc. -- that they have grown up using.

The study aimed both to describe how this geneation is thinking about the new world in whcih they are becoming adults, and to investigate the psychological underpinnings of belief systems -- specifically to evaluate and extend the "componential" theories proposed by Sylvan Tomkins, Richard Shweder, and Jonathan Haidt. I am curently completing a book presenting findings fromt he study.

Narrative and Music Cognition

Though not a musician, I am interested in exploring the ways in which life-narratives may have organizational structures similar to those of tonal music. In particular, I believe that people may configure "key" symbols, images, and metaphors into scale-like relations, which then provide an orchestration of their emotional lives.

more info    






at "K" College
337 - 7069 ---
with "Babs," Moroccan High Atlas
no phone, no computer, no e-mail