Research Interests:

Margarita explored how belief systems, or ideologies, structure our mental representations of the world, infuse our lives with meaning, and help guide our behavior. She examined how social influences and motivated reasoning interact to prompt the internalization of a belief system, the development of conviction regarding that set of beliefs, and the consequent resistance or susceptibility to novel, challenging, or contradictory information. She used surveys, natural experiments, content analyses, and experimental manipulations to investigate the differences and similarities between liberals and conservatives, along with the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and societal consequences of those differences.

Margarita was interested in liberals' and conservatives' cognitive and motivational responses to power and inequality, asking the questions: Does interpersonal behavior in power-differentiated roles resonate with beliefs about social dominance and equality? If conservatives tend to see the world in vertical terms, do liberals simply lack such vertical structures? Or, are liberals motivated by their beliefs to deny power differences that really do exist? She and John Jost developed a set of dyadic interaction experiments in which they manipulated power arrangements, salience of politics, and feedback about interpersonal dominance in order to predict differences in the behavioral responses and reported reactions of liberals and conservatives. This research provided insight into how power is negotiated in cross-political contexts.

Margarita was also interested in exploring the psychological factors that underlie the adoption of a crystallized or extreme ideology, as well as the correlates of political ambivalence.


Hometown: Kishinev, Moldova; Riverdale, NJ


Undergraduate Majors: Political Psychology, Anthropology


Undergraduate Institution: University of Virginia

Margarita Krochik