SAFE Student Spotlight: Christian Clevenger '23

Christian Clevenger '23
Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund Recipient: Spring 2023

Project: "Is False-Consensus Bias Present When Making Judgments of Self-Esteem in Others?"

Clevenger received a Spring 2023 Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) grant to recruit survey participants for his independent thesis, titled "Is False-Consensus Bias Present When Making Judgments of Self-Esteem in Others?” The study—advised by Dr. Christopher Holden, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology—examined how bias can impact judgments on self-esteem in other people.

With the funding, Clevenger successfully recruited over 300 participants for his study, surpassing the initial target of 150. “The money provided by SAFE allowed me to pay participants a living wage for their involvement in our short online survey. Online survey research is particularly prone to issues as a result of poor funding, thus SAFE ensured that we would be able to avoid said issues,” shared Clevenger.

Clevenger graduated with his master's degree in experimental psychology in May 2023. Currently, he is the lab manager of the Personality Processes and Outcomes Laboratory in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan.


About the SAFE Fund
Initially endowed by Hughlene and Bill Frank, the College of Arts and Sciences Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund provides resources that can be used to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty experiences. The SAFE Fund provides funding for college priorities and opportunities that arise throughout the year. These unrestricted funds support student and faculty travel, publication support for faculty and student research opportunities. Learn more at:

About the Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology
Appalachian State University’s Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology serves more than 1,400 undergraduate majors seeking the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, as well as 90 graduate students across four graduate programs: experimental psychology (MA), industrial-organizational psychology and human resource management (MA), school psychology (MA/SSP) and clinical psychology (PsyD). Learn more at

Written by Autumn Dagenhardt
Edited by Lauren Gibbs

March 5, 2024

Christian Clevenger '23
Published: Mar 5, 2024 8:40am