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Ayana Younge UNC Kenan-Flagler

Ayana Younge

Postdoctoral Research Associate and Behavioral Lab Manager


McColl 4539, CB 3490 Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Ayana Younge’s research lies at the intersection of positive emotions and social hierarchy.

She explores how positive emotions, such as gratitude, influence perceptions and behaviors within organizations, as well as factors that influence the perception of emotional authenticity.

Dr. Younge also studies how an organization’s social hierarchical context might play a role in shaping these dynamics within interpersonal relationships. For example, how might the perception of gratitude differ when expressed downward, from a supervisor to an employee, compared to upward, from an employee to a supervisor? Building on this, she has a growing pipeline of research on the impact of (in)authentic gratitude perception at work.

The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has published her research on the social function of gratitude within groups with colleagues Dr. Sara Algoe, Dr. Patrick Dwyer and Dr. Chris Oveis.

She teaches “Leading and Managing in Organizations” to Undergraduate Business students.

Dr. Younge is manager of the Behavioral Lab at UNC Kenan-Flagler, which serves the behavioral research community in and around the School. The lab supports and promotes empirical research on work related to individual, group and organizational phenomena.

She served as the UNC Kenan-Flagler PhD Student President for three years. She also was heavily involved in multiple committees within the School’s organizational behavior area as a PhD student.

Dr. Younge is a member of the PhD Project and served as the 2019-20 president of the Management Doctoral Student Association.

She received her PhD in organizational behavior and master’s in management from UNC Kenan-Flagler. She earned her master’s in social psychology and her BA in psychology and communication from California State University, Los Angeles.

Areas of Expertise

Emotions Organizational Behavior