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Linda Abarbanell, Ph.D.

Pronouns: Linda

Associate Professor of Psychology

College of Sciences
Department of Psychology

Imperial Valley


Office Hours

Wed 2-4 PM

Mail Code

(619) 594-1332

Areas of Expertise

Cross-cultural cognitive psychology including the study of healthcare beliefs and practices across cultures, the development of scientific reasoning and other explanatory beliefs, and linguistic relativity


I am broadly interested in how language and other cultural representations shape cognition. In my current work, I use qualitative and experimental methods to examine how cultural and structural factors at the US/Mexico border shape the healthcare beliefs and practices of individuals diagnosed with cancer and individuals who are HIV+.

My lab is also examining the structure and spread of different conceptions related to COVID-19. This work is part of a cross-border collaboration and exchange with a faculty member and students at the UABC School of Medicine in Mexicali. I have also worked for over 15 years with a Tseltal Mayan community in Chiapas, Mexico.

My projects there include an ethnographic study of indigenous women’s agency in reproductive healthcare in the context of a major Mexican anti-poverty program, experimental studies on the development of scientific and supernatural beliefs, and extensive work on the relationship between spatial language and cognition.

I recently received a grant to study the effect of education on science and religion narratives in this context.