Zachary Neal

Associate Professor

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

Research Statement


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-occurence 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.

Publications: A few publications are available on the right hand side; enter your email address and a copy of the paper will be emailed to you immediately. For access to all of my publications, CLICK HERE.

Books: Click on the pictures below to check them out.

Common Ground     Connected City     Handbook of Applied System Science

Related Programs

Selected Publications

  • Neal, Z. P.
    A sign of the times? Weak and strong polarization in the U.S. Congress, 1973–2016
    inPress, Social Networks
  • Neal, J. W. & Neal, Z. P.
    Implementation capital: Merging frameworks of implementation outcomes and social capital to support the use of evidence-based practices
    2019, Implementation Science, 14:16
  • Neal, Z.P., & Neal, J.W.
    The (in)compatibility of diversity and sense of community. American Journal of Community Psychology
    2014, American Journal of Community Psychology, 53:1-12
  • Neal, Z.P.
    The backbone of bipartite projections: Inferring relationships from co-authorship, co-sponsorship, co-attendance and other co-behaviors
    2014, Social Networks, 39:84-97
  • Neal, J.W. & Neal, Z.P.
    Nested or networked? Future directions for ecological systems theory
    2013, Social Development, 22:722-737
  • more publications