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Neal Zachary P Neal
Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago, Sociology 2009
Masters University of Illinois at Chicago, Sociology 2005
Bachelors University of Arizona, Philosophy & Classics 2001
Primary Program: Ecological-Community
134B Psychology
(517) 432-1811

Research Statement

My background is in sociology and geography, so I bring a slightly different perspective to issues of community psychology. My research uses network analysis and agent-based simulation models to investigate urban and community phenomena at multiple scales. At the micro-scale, I am interested in the forces that guide the formation of neighborhood social networks and build strong communities. At the meso-scale, I look at how spatial assets like parks and key organizations like schools shape community life. Finally, at the macro-scale, I study how national and global transportation networks shape economic opportunities for cities and their residents. I frequently speak about this work at international conferences, and it has been featured on National Public Radio and Atlantic Cities.

Research Publications    
2016Neal, J.W., Neal, Z.P., & Cappella, E. (2016). Seeing and being seen: Predictors of accurate perceptions about classmates’ relationships. Social Networks, 44, 1-8. doi:10.1016/j.socnet.2015.07.002.
2015Neal, Z.P., Neal, J.W., Lawlor, J.A., & Mills, K.J. (2015). Small worlds or worlds apart? Using network theory to understand the research-practice gap. Psychosocial Intervention, 24(3), 177-184. doi:10.1016/j.psi.2015.07.006
2014Neal, Z.P., & Neal, J.W. (2014). The (in)compatibility of diversity and sense of community. American Journal of Community Psychology. American Journal of Community Psychology, 53, 1-12.
2014Neal, Z.P. (2014). The devil is in the details: Differences in air traffic networks by scale, species, and season. Social Networks 38, 63 – 73.
2014Neal, Z.P. (2014). A network perspective on the processes of empowered organizations. American Journal of Community Psychology 53, 407 – 418.
2014Collins, C.R., Neal, J.W., & Neal, Z.P. (2014). Transforming individual level civic engagement into community collective efficacy: The role of bonding social capital. American Journal of Community Psychology, 54(3), 328-336 doi:10.1007/s10464-014-9675-x.
2014Neal, Z.P. (2014). The backbone of bipartite projections: Inferring relationships from co-authorship, co-sponsorship, co-attendance and other co-behaviors. Social Networks, 39, 84-97.
2014Neal, J.W., Neal, Z.P., & Capella, E. (2014). I Know Who My Friends Are, but Do You? Predictors of Self-Reported and Peer-Inferred Relationships. Child Development, 85, 1366-1372.
2013Neal, Z.P., & Neal, J.W. (2013). Opening the black box of social cognitive mapping. Social Development, 22(3), 604-608.
2013Neal, J.W., & Neal, Z.P. (2013). The multiple meanings of peer groups in social cognitive mapping. Social Development, 22(3), 580-594.