Brandon J. Cosley, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Department of Social Science
One University Boulevard
Bluffton, SC 29909
Hilton Head Gateway Campus
Brandon J. Cosley, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Social Science at USCB. His research is broadly focused on how people respond to and cope with threat. His findings help to shape projects involving health, cognition, discrimination, economics and the environment.
Cosley received a B.A. degree in psychology at San Francisco State University in 2006, and an M.A. degree in psychology at the University of Maine at Orono in 2008. He earned a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Maine in 2011. His thesis was entitled, “Relatively good or absolutely not: Examining the role of relative versus absolute stereotypes in emotional reactions to discrimination.”
After earning his master’s degree, Cosley served from 2009 to 2011 as a member of the adjunct faculty at Husson University in Bangor, Maine. With its limited enrollment of only 3,500 students, Husson nevertheless boasts the largest physical footprint of any private university in Maine. At the same time, he also served as an adjunct faculty member at Eastern Maine Community College. Also located in Bangor, Eastern Maine C.C. offers more than 30 one-year and two-year degree programs.
In 2010, while working on his doctorate, Cosley served as an instructor of record at the University of Maine. In 2011, he accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of South Carolina Beaufort.
Dr. Cosley has presented his research findings at conferences in Maine, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., South Carolina, Tennessee, Nevada, California, New Mexico and the United Kingdom.
Dr. Cosley’s research interests fall into three areas. The first examines the relationships between social evaluative threat and social cognition. Social evaluation is the process of being evaluated for performance or ability by others. Dr. Cosley investigates the coping mechanisms people employ to counter evaluative threats. The second area of interest involves stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination. It explores how members of disadvantaged groups respond to discrimination and how they use stereotypes to legitimize existing social inequalities. The third area involves some of Dr. Cosley’s most recent work. It examines how communities can manage social psychological threats and employ them to form stronger ties among their members. Building on this work, Dr. Cosley is collaborating with Dr. John Salazar, director of USCB’s hospitality institute; and Dr. Lori Dickes, a member of the research faculty at Clemson University’s Strom Thurmond Institute; in seeking a five-year community research and development grant to study economic development in South Carolina’s coastal communities. If funded, the research project will monitor the building of collaboration among community economic developers to identify strategies that encourage more sustainable development.
Dr. Cosley teaches Introduction to Psychology, Biological Psychology and Research Methods and its associated research laboratory.