Spike W. S. Lee

Associate Professor, Cross-appointed from Rotman School of Management


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

We live in a time where political polarization, class differences, moral debates, antiscience attitudes, and technological advances pervade our daily lives. My lab is committed to disentangling the psychological roots of ideology, partisanship, moral intuitions, science denialism, and social class. We are also trying to unpack the impact of digital technology, such as easy access to smart devices and artificial intelligence, on our desire and ability to think. 

Overall, our work uses multiple methods (e.g., meta-analysis, computational analysis, experimental and correlational designs, psychophysiology) to provide scientific answers to an overarching question in the philosophy of mind: How do human beings accomplish abstract thinking? We are especially eager to understand how people process various abstract thoughts that matter in sociopolitical conflicts (e.g., antiscience attitudes, morality), that are common in daily life (e.g., stress, love), that are culturally enshrined (e.g., independence), that emerge early in human development (e.g., gender), or that have significant consequences in real-world contexts (e.g., decision making, economic behaviour). 

We have been publishing our theoretical and empirical work in high-impact journals such as Science, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Nature Human Behaviour, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Science, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Our graduate and undergraduate students have been winning awards and scholarships.

Check out our lab website https://mindandbodylab.wixsite.com/mindandbodylab for the latest updates and papers.  


Spike is a social psychologist. He is an associate professor cross-appointed in the Rotman School of Management (Marketing Area) and Department of Psychology (Social/Personality Area) at the University of Toronto.

Broadly speaking, his research interests revolve around politics, morality, social class, culture, language, unconscious processes, judgment and decision making, technology, cognitive science, and philosophy of mind.

He received the 2017 Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, the 2016 Rising Star designation by the Association for Psychological Science, and the 2010 Early Graduate Student Researcher Award from the American Psychological Association.

Something you probably don't care about but he is particularly proud of: He was the lyricist of the 1st Runner-Up in the Canadian Chinese Song-Writers Quest 2021, the first song contest he has ever participated in. The song is in Cantonese, a language with 9 tones that create endless linguistic opportunities for puns, innuendos, and other awesome quirks.