I am passionate about helping others to engage with social change. I study what motivates people to engage with social change efforts, what inspires them to persevere with that engagement in the face of challenges, and how entities who engage with social change are perceived by observers.
Abstracts for my published papers are below. I'm always excited to collaborate with new people - please reach out via email with your feedback or thoughts of any sort!
Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 2023
How does the self-relevance of a social movement shape individuals’ engagement with it? We examined the decision-making processes that underlie support for Black Lives Matter (BLM) among Black, Hispanic, Asian, and White Americans. We find significant between-group differences in levels of support for BLM, both in terms of past behavior (Study 1) and in terms of future intentions to support the movement (Study 2). These differences notwithstanding, thinking about how one’s decisions impact others - which we label impact mindset - explains support for BLM across racial groups, cross-sectionally as well as longitudinally (over 8 months later). Our findings underscore the equivalence of the impact mindset construct across racial groups and its predictive power in the context of BLM. We conclude that, although the struggle for racial justice has different meanings for different racial groups, the same mindset underlies both in-group advocacy and allyship in the context of BLM.
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Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2022
Allyship is a growing phenomenon in many organizational contexts, and the involvement of advantaged group allies in identity-oriented social movements (e.g., men in the feminist movement) is ubiquitous. However, the impression that these advantaged group allies make on their intended beneficiaries is unclear. Over the course of four studies, we explore disadvantaged group activists' attitudes toward their advantaged group allies. We find converging evidence that disadvantaged group activists prefer advantaged group allies who engage in actions that demonstrate high levels of trustworthiness (e.g., selflessness, loyalty) and low levels of influence (e.g., centrality, power) in the movement, whereas non-activists show only a significant preference on the influence dimension. This evidence was observed in a survey of 117 social movement activists (Study 1), and in three experiments with 752 liberal women and nonbinary individuals (Study 2), 305 feminist social movement activists (Study 3), and a separate sample of 805 feminist social movement activists (Study 4). Taken together, our research documents the causal effects that different allyship behaviors have on beneficiaries' attitudes toward advantaged group allies (Studies 2, 3, & 4) while recruiting samples of currently engaged movement activists to solicit their unique perspectives (Studies 1, 3, & 4). We thereby identify the specific ways of being an advantaged group ally that elicit the most positive impressions from their intended beneficiaries, which have direct implications for supporting intergroup coalitions and social change.
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Current Opinion in Psychology, 2022
In everyday life, people often have opportunities to improve others’ lives, whether offering well-intentioned advice or complimenting someone on a job well done. These are opportunities to provide “prosocial input” (information intended to benefit others), including feedback, advice, compliments, and expressions of gratitude. Despite widespread evidence that giving prosocial input can improve the well-being of both givers and recipients, people sometimes hesitate to offer their input. The current paper documents when and why people fail to give prosocial input, noting that potential givers overestimate the costs of doing so (e.g., making recipients uncomfortable) and underestimate the benefits (e.g., being helpful) for at least four psychological reasons. Unfortunately, the reluctance to give prosocial input results in a short supply of kindness.
Psychological Science, 2022
Whom do individuals blame for intergroup conflict? Do people attribute responsibility for intergroup conflict to the in-group or the out-group? Theoretically integrating the literatures on intergroup relations, moral psychology, and judgment and decision-making, we propose that unpacking a group by explicitly describing it in terms of its constituent subgroups increases perceived support for the view that the unpacked group shoulders more of the blame for intergroup conflict. Five preregistered experiments (N = 3,335 adults) found support for this novel hypothesis across three distinct intergroup conflicts: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, current racial tensions between White people and Black people in the United States, and the gender gap in wages in the United States. Our findings (a) highlight the independent roles that entrenched social identities and cognitive, presentation-based processes play in shaping blame judgments, (b) demonstrate that the effect of unpacking groups generalizes across partisans and nonpartisans, and (c) illustrate how constructing packed versus unpacked sets of potential perpetrators can critically shape where the blame lies.
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