If leaders admit that they struggle with personal shortcomings, does it help or hinder their influence? Why does it matter whether followers can relate to a leader or not, and how can social connection between leaders and followers be built?


My research asks questions such as these. As a postdoctoral scholar working with Jochen Menges at the Chair of Human Resource Management and Leadership at the University of Zurich, I examine the surprising power of flawed leaders.


As a postdoctoral scholar in the Stanford University Mind & Body Lab with Alia Crum, I investigated why social connection matters in the context of medical professionals. For example, I showed that greater rapport with healthcare providers can enhance how much patients respond to a medical treatment.


I earned my doctorate in Social Psychology from Stanford University in 2017, where I was the Shaper Family Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow.​ With my colleagues at Stanford, I worked on projects exploring trust in experts and persuasion (see Research page for some of my projects). Click here to read my speech on embracing your own expertise from the Stanford Psychology Department's graduation ceremony!


​​As an undergraduate, I double majored in Psychology and German Language and Literature at the University of Virginia, where I had the pleasure of working with Jon Haidt and Tim Wilson. After graduating, I spent a year abroad on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Reutlingen, Germany. 


Beyond research and teaching, I love to spend my time writing about science for the popular press, participating in book clubs, and learning about local history. Hiking and watching so-bad-they're-good-again movies are two of my favorite pastimes. 

Lauren C. Howe © All rights reserved.

University of ZURICH

Social Psychologist

 Dr. Lauren C. Howe 

CoNtact ME


University of Zurich

Chair of HRM and Leadership

Department of Business Administration

Plattenstrasse 14

8032 Zurich, Switzerland

E-mail: Lauren.howe at business.uzh.ch