Zachary Neal

Zachary  Neal
  • Professor
  • Social / Personality Psychology


PhD, Sociology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2009 
MA, Sociology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2005 
BS, Philosophy & Classics, University of Arizona, 2001



I come to Psychology from a background in Philosophy (BA) and Sociology (MA/PhD), and having spent a fair bit of time doing Economic Geography. But, all of my work focuses on networks as both a theoretical perspective and quantitative approach for understanding human behavior 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 macro-scale, I study how national and global transportation networks shape economic opportunities for cities and their residents. Methodologically, my research focuses on developing statistical models for inferring social networks from co-occurrence data (e.g. co-authorship, co-attendance, etc.). When it comes to Social Psychology per se, I stick to the classics, but for their lesser-known contributions to network science: Fritz Heider on cognitive balance, Leon Festinger on propinquity, and Stanley Milgram on small worlds.

 Urban Networks Research