Research Interests:

Erin’s research focuses on the influence of cognitive and motivated biases on information processing.  In much of her research, Erin focuses specifically on the ways in which the motivation to uphold and defend the status quo (i.e., system justification motivation) shapes how individuals process politically relevant information. In a primary line of research investigating beliefs about climate change, Erin extends research on biased self-perception to investigate whether cognitive and perceptual processing can also be shaped by motivations to defend and justify social systems. In a second line of research, she focuses on the divergent effects of epistemic, existential, and relational needs on support for movements characterized by the desire for either radical or retrograde forms of social change, such as Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party, respectively. A third line of research, conducted in the context of reactions to the headscarf ban in Turkey, explores the possibility that individuals are entrenched in multiple systems, the defense of which may motivate conflicting sociopolitical attitudes.

Hometown: Fifield, Wisconsin

Undergraduate Majors: Music, Psychology, Liberal Arts and Management

Undergraduate Institution: Indiana University

Erin Hennes

Office: 559 Meyer Hall