University of Pittsburgh

Klein, William

Klein, William

Adjunct Associate Professor; Associate Director, Behavioral Research Program, National Cancer Institute
PhD, Princeton University

Primary Program: Social Program
All programs: Biological and Health Program, Social Program


National Institutes of Health, Washington, D.C.

Research Interests: Self-judgment, social comparison, risk perception, risk communication, optimism, self-affirmation, health decision-making

Accepting Graduate Students: No

Selected Publications

  • Shepperd, J. A., Klein, W. M. P., Waters, E., & Weinstein, N. D. (2013). Taking stock of unrealistic optimism. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8, 395-411.
  • Ferrer, R. A., Klein, W. M. P., Zajac, L. E., Sutton-Tyrrell, K. C., Muldoon, M. F., & Kamarck, T. W. (2012). Unrealistic optimism is associated with subclinical atherosclerosis. Health Psychology, 31, 815-820.
  • Klein, W. M. P., Harris, P. R., Ferrer, R. A., & Zajac, L. E. (2011). Affective perceptions of vulnerability in response to threatening messages: Effects of self-affirmation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 1237-1242.
  • Klein, W. M. P., Cerully, J. L., Monin, M. M., & Moore, D. A. (2010). Ability, chance, and ambiguity aversion: Revisiting the competence hypothesis. Judgment and Decision Making, 5, 192-199.
  • Klein, W. M. P., & Harris, P. R. (2009). Self-affirmation enhances attentional bias toward threatening components of a persuasive message. Psychological Science, 20, 1463-1467.
  • Moore, D. A., & Klein, W. M. P. (2008). Use of absolute and comparative performance feedback in absolute and comparative judgments and decisions. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 107, 60-74.
  • Klein, W.M.P., & Stefanek, M.E. (2007). Cancer risk elicitation and communication: Lessons from the psychology of risk perception. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 57, 147-167.

Honors and Awards

  • NIH Merit Award (2012)
  • Commencement Speaker, Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh (2009)
  • Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award (2008)
  • Steven Manners Faculty Development Award (2003-04)
  • Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching (1990)
  • Co-editor, Psychology and Health (2001-2007)