Research Interests

My students and I have been engaged in a number of programs of research over the years. My most active areas of inquiry currently are testing hypotheses about the antecedents and consequences of moral convictions, the cognitive and motivational underpinnings of the left-right ideological divide, and meta-science, i.e., investigations of how we go about doing our science. Current research in the lab is examining the social and personality identity functions of moral conviction, and we have some interesting ideas we want to test about the underlying processes that give rise to moral convictions. Although still preliminary, I have some new interests in studying ideas about what predicts people’s willingness to make sacrifices in the name of the greater good or future generations, and the consequences of focusing on different kinds of futures, i.e., taking a more dystopian versus utopian orientation to thinking about how the world might operate in the future. Finally, my collaborators and I have been studying how people respond to political incivility, and the conditions when they are more or less likely to accept incivility in the political sphere, and individual differences in the tendency to moralize rationality.