Adam Dunbar, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Adam Dunbar
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Adam Dunbar joined the department in 2020. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine and has been a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware.

He researches the intersection of race and the criminal justice system, focusing specifically on how attitudes about race, culture, and crime can help explain racial disparities in policing and punishment. Additionally, he explores public opinion about criminal justice reform as well as obstacles to reform efforts. His work has been published in the Journal of Experimental Criminology, Justice Quarterly, Race & Justice, and Psychology, Public Policy, & Law.

Research interests

  • Race, ethnicity and the criminal justice system
  • Stereotyping and prejudice
  • Psychology and law

Recent publications

  • Dunbar, A. (2022). Arguing for Criminal Justice Reform: Examining the Effects of Message Framing on Policy Preferences. Justice Quarterly. Advanced online publication.
  • Holbrook, M., Dunbar, A., & Miller, M.K, (2022). Judges’ Perceptions of Systemic Racism in the Criminal Justice System. Race and Justice. Advanced online publication.
  • Dunbar, A. & Hanink, P. (2022). Policing Protests: An Experimental Evaluation of the Impact of Protester Race on Support for Police Reform. Journal of Experimental Criminology. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1007/s11292-021-09499-2
  • Dunbar, A. & Jones, N.E. (2020). Policing Two Pandemics: Considering the Relationships among Race, Public Health, and Policing. Ethnic and Racial Studies. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1080/01419870.2020.1851381
  • Dunbar, A. (2020). Follow the Money: Racial Crime Stereotypes and Willingness to Fund Crime Control Polices. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. Advance online publication.
  • Dunbar, A., Hughes, C., Kupchik, A., & Lewis, R. (2019). Fear of a Black (And Poor) School: Race, Class, and School Safety Policy Preferences. Race & Justice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/2153368719881679.
  • Dunbar, A. (2019). Rap Music, Race, and Perceptions of Crime. Sociology Compass. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/soc4.12732.
  • Dunbar, A. & Kubrin, C.E. (2018). Imagining Violent Criminals: Rap Music Stereotypes and Character Judgments. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 14(4), 507-528.
  • Dunbar, A. (2018). Art or Confession?: Evaluating Rap Lyrics as Evidence in Criminal Cases. Race and Justice, 10(3), 320-340.
  • Dunbar, A., Kubrin, C.E., & Scurich, N. (2016). The Threatening Nature of “Rap” Music. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 22(3), 280-292.


  • Ph.D., criminology, law and society, University of California, Irvine, 2017
  • B.A., sociology and psychology (double major), Stanford University, 2010