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William  Chopik

William Chopik

Assistant Professor

Expert in social behaviors and individual differences and relationships.

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Area of Expertise

Optimism Romantic Relationships Lifespan Development Personality Close Relationships Health Friendship Aging


Bill Chopik, a social/personality psychologist, studies how relationships -- and the people in them -- change over time and across situations. He focuses on how factors both inside (biological, hormonal) and outside (social roles, geography) of people influence their approach to social relationships. In 2016, Chopik was named one of Forbes' "30 Under 30 in Science"; and in 2015, he was named one of the "30 Top Thinkers Under 30" in Pacific Standard magazine.

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The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor: Ph.D., | 2015

Selected Press

How to know if you’re a social butterfly, according to psychologists

Well and Good | 2021-08-26

The term “social butterfly” is often used to describe, well, a highly social person. And while it's not a medical term, social psychologists understand and acknowledge it in their work and with patients. “'Social butterfly' is a term used for people who are socially skilled, extroverted, and well-liked by others,” says William Chopik, a social-personality psychologist and associate professor at Michigan State University, adding that social butterflies fit in well in different situations, make friends easily, and tend to feel pretty positive on a regular basis.

Boomers are bigger snowflakes than millennials, according to science

MSN | 2021-06-04

A new study has found that the baby boomer generation is more sensitive than millennials, despite repeated cries of ‘snowflake' and angst over ‘participant trophies' from the older generation. The research was conducted by Michigan State University in order to fill a void of “basic information about how narcissism changes across the adult life span.” William Chopik, a social-personality personality psychologist who co-authored the study, told Insider that his team defined hypersensitivity as “being unreceptive to others' feedback and lashing out at any criticism toward one's self.” They found that younger generations are less hypersensitive than older generations.

Bill and Melinda Gates’ shocking split sparks renewed interest in billionaire’s ‘arrangement’ early in marriage

New York Daily News | 2021-05-05

One expert who spoke to the Daily News said Bill Gates’ enduring friendship with Ann Winblad could actually bode well for his future relationship with Melinda Gates. “A good indicator is looking at people’s relationships with their past exes,” William Chopik, a psychology professor who directs the Close Relationships Lab at Michigan State University, said. “From what we at least know right now, (Bill Gates’ arrangement with Winblad) was platonic and resembled a strong friendship, but details can still come forward,” Chopik told The News. If the relationship was just that, Gates and Winblad seem to fit a category for exes called “perfect pals,” possibly setting the stage for hereafter harmony with Melinda Gates as well, he argued.

Is online dating effective or just superficial

Yahoo! | 2021-03-08

New research from William Chopik, an associate professor in the Michigan State University Department of Psychology, and David Johnson from the University of Maryland, finds that people's reason for swiping right is based primarily on attractiveness and the race of a potential partner and that decisions are often made in less than a second. "Despite online dating becoming an increasingly popular way for people to meet one another, there is little research on how people connect with each other on these platforms," said Chopik. "We wanted to understand what makes someone want to swipe left or swipe right, and the process behind how they make those decisions."