Social and Decision Analytics

Nathaniel Ratcliff

  • Research Assistant Professor
Nathaniel Ratcliff headshot


Nathaniel is an Assistant Research Professor at the Social and Decision Analytics division (SDAD) of the Biocomplexity Institute & Initiative at the University of Virginia. Nathaniel’s research focuses on methodology, measurement, and integrating designed social science data with big administrative datasets. Trained as a social psychologist, Nathaniel received his PhD in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University in 2016. His PhD dissertation examined the situations in which leaders were willing to relinquish power in the context of experimental lab groups. 

Nathaniel is currently working on projects investigating the social characteristics of Soldiers in the Army that predict performance and projects seeking to understand the nature of the skilled technical workforce in the United States. He has developed a novel methodological approach to the study and quantifying of resilience which is accompanied by an associated R package. Nathaniel also endeavors to serve as an analytic storyteller— synthesizing statistical, methodological, and conceptual analyses into actionable, evidence-based solutions for decision- and policy-makers. 


    • Research Methodology
    • Measurement and Scale Development
    • Conceptual Mapping
    • Individual and Unit Performance
    • Organizational Climate
    • Leadership
    • Social Power
    • Relinquishing Power
  • The Pennsylvania State University Alumni Association Dissertation Award, 2015

    The Penn State RGSO College Dissertation Support Award, 2014

    Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Student Travel Award, 2014

  • B.A. in Psychology, Minor in Political Science, Miami University

    M.S. in Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University

    Ph.D. in Psychology, Minor in Business Administration-Marketing, The Pennsylvania State University

  • Ratcliff, N. J., Nair, D. & Goldstein, J, (2019). arse: Area of resilience to stress event. R package version 1.0.0.

Through modern data science techniques, we are uncovering the social characteristics of individual and unit performance that drives Soldiers to successfully meet the challenges of rapid technological change they may need to address in future wars. We are recategorizing these data in a social context to capture Army values and Warrior Ethos, such as courage, honor, loyalty, and empathy.
National Well-being
Selected Publications
Social and Decision Analytics
Keast J; Pocinki A; Ratcliff N; Thurston J; Santiago-Calderón JB; Schroeder A . MethodSpace. SAGE Publishing.. 2020;
Social and Decision Analytics
Ratcliff NJ; Mahoney-Nair DT; Goldstein JR . The Quantitative Methods for Psychology. 2019; 15:148-173
Social and Decision Analytics
Lynn B; Ratcliff NJ . Fort Belvoir, VA: U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences. 2018;
Social and Decision Analytics
Ratcliff NJ; Vescio TK . European Journal of Social Psychology. 2017; 48(3)
Social and Decision Analytics
Ratcliff NJ; Vescio TK . Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 2013; 49(6):978-983
Social and Decision Analytics
Ratcliff NJ; Hugenberg K; Shriver ER; Bernstein MJ . Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 2011; 37(8):1-13