My primary program of research focuses on social identity processes and how threat from important social categories, like race, gender, sexual orientation, or chronic illness, can affect cognitive, affective, and physiological processes over time. In particular, I take a “core needs” approach, viewing social identity threat as undermining psychological needs to belong and have control over important outcomes. This provides an explanation for how complex societal factors, such as stereotypes about groups, can “get under the skin” to affect performance, well-being, and health. My research also seeks to develop and test psychological interventions to reduce identity threat or mitigate its consequences. I also maintain a secondary program of research that investigates the psychological impact of technology and technological change, which is an area I am interested in exploring further.
My philosophy as a researcher is interdisciplinary. I believe that psychological and behavioral processes are best understood in the context of the mutually interacting embedded social systems in which people live. I use a variety of methods, including experiments in the lab and field and momentary or daily assessments over time. Many of my projects have a longitudinal aspect. To better understand the complex data sets emerging from my research, I have developed an interest in quantitative methods and statistical modeling