About Steve

Stephen Read

Professor of Psychology

E-mail: read@usc.edu

Phone: (213) 740-2291

Office: SGM 821



B.A. Psychology, Princeton University, 5/1974
Ph.D. Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, 8/1981

Postdoctoral Training

Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University, Department of Psychology, 09/1982-08/1984
Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University, Department of Psychology, 09/1981-08/1982

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Professor of Psychology, University of Southern California, 01/01/1998-

Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Southern California, 01/01/1990-01/01/1998

Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Southen California, 01/01/1984-01/01/1990


Description of Research


Professor Read has five main areas of research.

  • His primary area of interest is in computational models of social reasoning and social behavior: neural network models of personality and motivation, legal and everyday decision making, person perception. 
  • The creation of realistic personality in computer based intelligent agents in virtual reality training systems.
  • Coherence based, constraint satisfaction based models of decision making and impression formation.
  • The structure and dynamics of human personality.
  • The use of interactive media in changing risky sexual behavior.

Research Keywords

neural network models, social reasoning, personality, virtual reality, sexual behavior

Research Specialties

  • Neural Network Models of Social Reasoning and Personality.
  • Knowledge structures in causal reasoning and decision making.
  • Narrative models of social explanation.
  • Use of Interactive Media to change risky social behaviors.
  • Structure and function of belief systems.
  • Role of beliefs and attitudes in information processing.


Funded Research


Miller, L. C. (PI), Read, S. J., Appleby, P. R., Marsella, S., & Clark, L. SOLVE-IT: Real Risk Reduction for MSM (National Institute of Mental Health),$3,800,000, 04/01/2008-03/31/2013.

Read, S. J. (PI), Lu, Z. L., Bechara, A., Miller, L. C., & Appleby, P. R. Neural Mechanisms of Risky Sexual Decision-Making in METH and non-METH Using MSM. NIDA. 07/01/2011-04/30/2016.  $2,844, 615 over 5 years


  Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions

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