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Kenneth Locke

Kenneth Locke


Student Health Center 208
(208) 885-4453
Mailing Address
Department of Psychology & Communication Studies
University of Idaho
P.O. Box 443043
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3043
Kenneth Locke
  • Ph.D., Psychology, Stanford University, 1989
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Maryland, 1984
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After receiving his doctorate in 1989 from Stanford University where he studied cognitive, personality and social psychology, Ken Locke taught at the State University of New York, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, University of Southern California and Sonoma State University. While working as a research associate in the Stanford University School of Medicine, Locke completed a post-doctoral clinical training program and became licensed as a clinical psychologist. Locke finally found the right professional fit when he accepted a position as an assistant professor in the University of Idaho Department of Psychology and Communication Studies in 1996.

At Idaho, Locke has developed several successful programs of research pertaining to interpersonal relationships and social cognition. Most recently, he has been conducting studies in Asia to examine the influence of culture on how people conceptualize themselves and others. Locke teaches popular undergraduate courses on personality and sexuality; indeed, his human sexuality course has been repeatedly voted the “best course” at the university, but he acknowledges that in this case the course material — not the course instructor — deserves the credit.

  • Interpersonal circumplex models
  • Social comparisons
  • Measures of complex social information processing
  • Effects of cultural differences in response styles

Seminal publications

  • Locke, K.D. (2003). Status and solidarity in social comparison: agentic and communal values and vertical and horizontal directions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 619-631.
  • Locke, K.D. (2003). H as a measure of the complexity of social information processing. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 7, 268-280.

Recent Publications

  • Locke, K.D. (2011). Interpersonal moderators of the effects of upward comparisons on ability judgments. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 33, 37-46.
  • Locke, K.D. (2009). Aggression, narcissism, self-esteem, and the attribution of desirable and humanizing traits to self versus others. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 99-102.
  • Locke, K.D., & Baik, K. (2009). Does an acquiescent response style explain why Koreans are less consistent than Americans? Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 40, 319-323.
  • Locke, K.D., & Braun, C.C. (2009). Ambivalence versus valence: Analyzing the effects of opposing attitudes. Social Cognition, 27(1), 89-104.
  • Locke, K.D. (2008). Attachment styles and interpersonal approach and avoidance goals in everyday couple interactions. Personal Relationships, 15, 359-374

  • Locke regularly offers web-based versions of Psychology of Personality (PSYC 310) and Human Sexuality (PSYC 330). 
  • He also offers PSYC 310 through Independent Study in Idaho.

Psychology & Communication Studies

Physical Address:
206 Student Health Center

Mailing Address:
Psychology & Communications Studies
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3043
Moscow, ID 83844-3043

Phone: (208) 885-6324

Fax: (208) 885-7710


Web: Psychology and Communication Studies Department