David Penn, Ph.D.

David_PennWelcome to the Penn Lab website!

I am the Linda-Wagner Martin Distinguished Professor of Psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill and the Associate Director of Clinical Training.  I have been at UNC since 1999.

Previously, I was on the faculty at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and LSU. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, under the mentorship of Will Spaulding, Ph.D., and completed my internship at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, at the Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, under the mentorship of Kim Mueser, Ph.D.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Personally, I was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Great Neck LI.  My mother and younger brother still live in Great Neck.  My wife, Leah, is from Madison, WI.  We live in Durham and enjoy travel, restaurants, good films, and living in this area.


Attention: Dr. David L. Penn will be on sabbatical during the Fall 2016 semester and will not be available by email at this time. Please reach out to current graduate students or research assistants with any questions or concerns regarding Penn Lab issues.

David Penn was awarded the Beckman award, given to only 10 professors in the U.S., for his mentorship of Dave Roberts

David Penn and David Roberts featured in The New Yorkerand ABC news.com

Penn lab named in Journal of Clinical Psychology as one of top producers of scholarly publications in clinical psychology PhD programs

Dr. David Penn was recently interviewed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln about his involvement with the RAISE study

My primary research interests are in two areas: Social cognition and psychosocial treatment for schizophrenia. In regard to social cognition, I am interested in how social cognition (i.e., emotion perception, attributional style, and theory of mind) changes across the course of schizophrenia (e.g., prior to illness onset, prodromal, first episode, and chronic), its neural basis, and how social cognition relates to social functioning.

Over the past few years, my research has had a particular emphasis on psychosocial treatment for schizophrenia.  Specifically, we have conducted studies examining individual CBT for schizophrenia, group CBT for individuals with medication-resistant auditory hallucinations, illness management and recovery, CBT for first episode psychosis, and Social Cognition and Interaction Training (SCIT) (for both schizophrenia and high functioning autism). For more information about the training, please navigate to the “Social Cognition and Interaction Training (SCIT)” tab under “Research” > “Current Studies” tabs from the menu above.

If you are interested in being a member of my lab, you can find more information about our lab and the application process under the “Prospective Students” tabs from the main menu (above).

Thank you for visiting my website!