Wind Goodfriend is a full professor of psychology and assistant dean of liberal arts at Buena Vista University in Iowa. She earned her BA in psychology from Buena Vista and her master's and Ph.D. in social psychology from Purdue University. Dr. Goodfriend co-authored the textbook Social Psychology with SAGE, which won the Most Promising New Book of the Year Award from the Textbook and Academic Authors Association in 2019. She is the recipient of the 2024 SPSP Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award.

What led you to choose a career in personality and social psychology?

As a child, I had symptoms of both Tourette Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder. I was also raised by a somewhat strange and cloistered family. I fell in love with social psychology because I hoped that by studying it, I could pretend to be like everyone else. I also love the values of SPSP—using science to promote diversity, equality, and progress for a better world.

Briefly summarize your current research and any future research interests you plan to pursue.

My research focuses on three things: (1) understanding and preventing intimate relationship violence, (2) the mental processes and effects of gender- and sexuality-based prejudice, and (3) social psychological topics in popular culture. Recently, I've been applying social psych topics to understand the dynamics of cult recruitment and indoctrination.

Why did you join SPSP?

I joined SPSP at the start of my graduate school career when we had our first conference, and I've only missed two or three over the years. I love connecting with people and seeing the passion in the next generation of students and new faculty. Mentoring is one of the best parts of being involved in academia.

What is your most memorable SPSP Annual Convention experience?

I can't say much without incriminating the people involved. Suffice it to say that a recipe for disaster is 12 SPSP members, 5 pitchers of sangria, and 1 Neil Diamond tribute band.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? Do you have a favorite course to teach?

My university is a small, liberal arts, teaching school, so teaching is my main focus. I teach eight courses a year, and honestly, they all become my favorite as I teach them! But consistently I have the most fun when I teach Psychology of Cults or Personality, because they are so interactive and because the students get so much out of them.

Outside of psychology, how do you spend your free time?

I love to travel. I've been to 37 different countries so far, including some amazing experiences. I've spent a week in North Korea, I've camped in a tent on top of the Great Wall of China, and I've lived in an ashram in India. Eventually, I'd like to see all seven continents. Can we schedule the next SPSP for Antarctica, please? If anyone has a connection, let me know!