Dwight A. Hennessy

Dwight A. Hennessy, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor Buckham Hall A238A
Office: (716) 878-5532
Email: hennesda@buffalostate.edu

Dr. Hennessy received his Ph.D. from York University in Personality and Social Psychology and has been a faculty member at Buffalo State since 2000.  He specializes in Social, Environmental, Consumer, and Traffic psychology.  Before joining the faculty at Buffalo State, Dr. Hennessy worked as a market research analyst and consultant.

Visit Dr. Hennessy's web page.

Recent Students Mentored

Nick Gray: Nick graduated with a BA from Buffalo State in May 2019 and subsequently with an MA from UB in 2021.  Nick was a very active researcher, having completed an Honors Thesis, Undergraduate Student Research Fellowship, and Early Undergraduate Research Opportunity.  He received a small grant for his research and presented his findings at EPA and SRCC.  Nick was also awarded a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for outstanding undergraduate students in 2019.  He is currently accepted into the PhD program at the University of Rochester.

Summer Oliver: Summer graduated in December 2019 and was a very active researcher.  She conducted an Honors Thesis as well as an individualized research project.  She received a small grant for both projects from the Office of Undergraduate Research and presented her findings at EPA and SRCC. She has since worked as a research specialist in a professional research lab.  

Sarah Holenstein: Sarah graduated in December 2017 and conducted several research studies.  She received an Undergraduate Research Small Grant for one study and was awarded an Undergraduate Student Research Fellowship for the other. She presented her findings at EPA and SRCC.

Emma O'Connor: Emma graduated in 2015.  She received her MA from Western Carolina University and is currently in the PhD program in Applied Social Psychology at Portland State University.  In addition to receiving an Undergraduate Student Research Fellowship and Undergraduate Research Small Grant, Emma was the recipient of the David Vernon Bullough Outstanding Senior Award in Psychology.  She presented her findings at EPA and SRCC.

Jessica Hemingway: Jessica graduated in May 2007. She was my teaching assistant in Environmental Psychology and co-authored a book chapter on the effects on media on dangerous driving.  She has since received a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning at Ohio State University.  I served on her dissertation committee as she earned her Ph.D. from Dresden Leibniz University in Germany in 2017.

Selected Peer-reviewed Publications

(*notes student co-author)

Wang, W., Zhang, J., Hennessy, D. A., & Yin, W. (2020). Do only-children communicate better than non-only children? A study of medical students in China. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 51, 84-109.

Chai, L., Yang, W., Zhang, J., Chen, S.*, Hennessy, D.A., & Liu, Y*. (2020). The relationship between perfectionism and depression among Chinese college students with self-esteem as a mediator. Journal of Death & Dying, 80, 490-503.

Jin, S., Liu, Y*., Hennessy, D.A., Sun, L., Zang, Y., Si, M.*, & Zhang, Z. (2020). Physical illness and medically serious suicide attempt in rural China. Crisis, 41, 15-23.

Zhang, J., Hu, H*., Hennessy, D.A., Zhao, S., & Zhang, Y. (2019). Digital media and depressive symptoms among Chinese adolescents: A cross-sectional study. Heliyon, 5, 1-8.

Zhang, Q.*, Ge, Y., Qu, W., Hennessy, D.A., & Zhang, K. (2019) Effects of anger and collision history on driver space preference. Transportation Research Part F, 63, 108-117.

Liu, Y.*, Zhang, J., Hennessy, D.A., & Zhao, S. (2019). Psychological strains, depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation among medical and non-medical staff in urban china. Journal of Affective Disorders, 245,22-27.

Liu, B-P, Zhang, J., Chu, J, Qiu, H-M, Jia, C-X, & Hennessy, D.A. (2019). Negative life events as triggers of suicide attempt in rural China: a case-crossover study. Psychiatry Research, 276, 100-106.

Zhou, Q., Zhang, J., & Hennessy, D.A. (2018). The role of family absolute and relative income in suicide among Chinese rural young adults: Mediation effects of social support and coping train. Journal of Public Health, 41, 609-617.

Ren, R., Zhang, J., & Hennessy, D.A. (2018). Psychological strains and psychological distress among Chinese rural migrant workers. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 27, 231-241.

Hennessy, D. A. (2016). Are narcissists really angrier drivers?  An examination of state driving anger among narcissistic subtypes.  Special Issue “Advances in Driving Anger”, Transportation Research Part F, 42, 267-275.

Hennessy, D. A., Jakubowski, R., & Leo, B.* (2016). The impact of primacy/recency effects and hazard monitoring on attributions of other drivers.  Transportation Research Part F, 39, 43-53.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Psychology (PSY 101)
  • Social Behavior (PSY 325)
  • Psychology of the Consumer (PSY 382)
  • Psychology of Aggression and Violence (PSY 384)
  • Environmental Psychology (PSY 370)
  • Experimental Psychology (PSY 450)
  • Senior Seminar (PSY 472)

Research Interests

Aggression, Violence, and Vengeance (including female aggression, driver aggression, workplace aggression, spectator aggression),

Daily Hassles, Stress & Coping (work stress, driver stress), Traffic Psychology,

Scientific Racism, Gender Roles, Consumer Psychology, Adoption Matching


2013    Buffalo State College President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

2010    Buffalo State College President’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Research

2008    Center for Development of Human Services Outstanding Faculty Partner

2007    Buffalo State College President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Advisement

2006    McNair Scholars Program Mentor of the Year

Research Support

NIHCD Grant:  Improving Parenting Capacity to Promote Safe Driving For Adolescents With ADHD (Dr. Greg Fabiano, UB).  This was a project looking at factors that might impact safe driving among teens with ADHD.

CDHS Minigrant (2014).  Loneliness: The Psychological and Emotional Impact of a Powerful Emotion.  This was a grant to help understand the basic psychological issues associated with loneliness and the types of referral that are most appropriate can assist the child welfare worker in developing an effective service plan with treatment family.

CDHS Minigrant (2011). Short Term Evaluation of Coaching Effectiveness in HRA.  This grant investigated ways to evaluate effectiveness of coaching outcomes in the HRA system.