Michele Acker

Michele Acker



Psychology House 101

Professor & Director of the Honors Program

Dr. Michele Acker is a professor of psychology, with emphases in social psychology, industrial organizational psychology, and gender studies. She received her doctorate in social psychology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Acker’s areas of expertise are in close personal relationships, social stereotyping, trust and suspicion, and gender issues in the workplace. Some of her research examines perceptions of intimacy between relationship partners and the role that suspicion and trust play in relationships. She teaches courses in general psychology, social psychology, industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology, psychology of women, research methods. She is interested in how social psychology can contribute to our understanding of human interactions with the natural world which she explores in a class on conservation psychology. She teaches a seminar in the honors program and has advised over 20 senior theses. She teaches travel courses in the May term looking at culture and gender (in Italy), and at culture and environmental issues (in Belize). Her current research project is the “Letters to Juliet” project looking at cultural and social issues through the lens of advice letters written to “Juliet” over the last twenty years.


  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1994
  • M.S., University of Michigan, M.S., 1990
  • B.A., Eckerd College, 1989

Research, Creative, & Professional Work

  • Gender issues in the workplace, gender stereotypes
  • Close relationships, trust and suspicion, theories of love
  • Conservation (Environmental) Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology of Women
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • General Psychology Research Methods
  • Gender and Close Relationships
  • The Search for Utopia (Senior Year Experience (SYE) Program)
  • Conservation Psychology (Integrative Studies program)
  • Understanding the Nature of Belize (travel course, SYE program)
  • Gender, Culture, and Close Relationships (travel course)


  • Van Prooijen, J.W. & Acker, M. (2015) The Influence of Control on Belief in Conspiracy Theories: Conceptual and Applied Extensions. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 29, 753–761.
  • Acker, M.(2010) Invited Review of “Latching On: The Politics of Breastfeeding in America”, Sex Roles.
  • Acker, M.(2009). Breast is Best…But Not Everywhere: Ambivalent Sexism and Attitudes Toward Private and Public Breastfeeding. Sex Roles, 61(7), 476-490.
  • Acker M.(Ed.) (1999-2000). Courselinks for Social Psychology. CourseWise Publishing.
  • Acker, M.(1999). Study Guide for Social Psychology by Stephen L. Franzoi. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
  • Acker, M.(Ed.) (1998). Perspectives on Social Psychology. CourseWise Publishing.
  • Nelson, T. E.,Acker, M.& Manis, M. (1996) Irrepressible stereotypes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 32, 13-38.
  • Malamuth, N. M., Linz, D., Heavey, C. L., Barnes, G., &Acker, M.(1995). Using the confluence model of sexual aggression to predict men’s conflict with women: A ten-year follow-up study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(2), 353-369
  • Acker, M.(1993). [Review of the book, Intimate relationships]. Journal of Social and Personal relationships, 10(4), 631-638.
  • Cantor, N.,Acker, M.& Cook-Flannagan, C. (1992). Conflict and preoccupation in the intimacy life task. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63(4), 644-655.
  • Acker, M.& Davis, M. H. (1991). Intimacy, passion, and commitment in adult romantic relationships: A test of the triangular theory of love. Journal of Social and Personal relationships, 9 (1), 21-50.

Affiliations & Awards

Affiliated Faculty
  • Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS)
  • Honors Program
  • IT Catalyst – Equity through Inquiry: ADVANCE at Otterbein University,
  • National Science Foundation (Co-PI with Michele Acker, Carrigan Hayes, Paul Eisenstein, and Victoria McGillin), October 2012, $159,794.
  • Lilly North Conference Poster Presentation Award for Best Poster, 2008
  • Otterbein University Honorary Member of Tri-Iota, Fall 2014
  • Otterbein University Invited Baccalaureate Speaker, Spring 2014
  • Otterbein College New Teacher of the Year Award, 2000