Professor John Jost

John Jost

Most of John’s work focuses on the theoretical and empirical implications of system justification theory. He is also interested in the underlying cognitive and motivational differences between liberals and conservatives.

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Postdoctoral Fellows

Mark Hoffarth

Mark Hoffarth

Mark is interested in political psychology, intergroup relations, and sexuality. He is currently completing an NSF-funded postdoc examining when and why sexual minorities either challenge or justify heterosexist social systems, including factors such as political ideology, religiosity, system-justifying stereotypes, sexual identity, and well-being.

Mark Hoffarth

Jussi Valtonen

Jussi is interested in mental illness stigma, perceptions of individuals with mental illness, and social cognition in the context of medicine. He is also interested in intuitions about brains and minds and the social implications of these intuitions.

Current Students

Vivienne Badaan

Vivienne is interested in the cross-cultural implications and applications of system justification theory, specifically in the Middle East and the Arab region, and the pathways and factors in play between motivation for system justification and collective action. She is also interested in addressing the nuances of religious and political ideology in culture-specific contexts.

Sarah DiMuccio

Sarah's research interests include precarious manhood beliefs and behaviors and the relationship between precarious manhood and political ideology.

Shahrzad Goudarzi

Shahrzad is interested in how system-justifying beliefs and political ideology shape perceptions of inequality and reactions to disadvantaged targets.

Melanie Langer

Melanie is interested in how underlying needs give rise to ideological differences and motivate positions on particular issues and behavior.

Photo of Mao Mogami

Mao Mogami

Mao is broadly interested in social justice, morality, and political ideology. Currently, she has projects that look at
1) ideological differences in emotion regulation and
2) how system justification relates to animal rights/cruelty.

Photo of Eduardo Rivera-Pichardo

Eduardo Rivera-Pichardo

Has an avid interest in philosophy and socio-political psychology, on areas such as (de)coloniality, intergroup relations, subaltern nationalism, and the structural and motivational foundations of political ideology. At the moment he is particularly interested in the center-periphery application of System Justification Theory to colonial and neocolonial realities experienced in the Caribbean.

Lab Alumni

Flávio Azevedo

Flavio is interested in politico-psychological approaches investigating dispositional and situational processes underlying ideological subscription. He has a penchant for psychometrics and random-effects models, which he is using to evaluate current practices in the measurement of ideology. Currently, John Jost and Flavio are working on the political psychology of the 2016 Election.

Irina Feygina

Director of Behavioral Science and Assessment
Climate Central

Irina works at the intersection of science and policy on issues of environmental and social sustainability.

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Erin Godfrey

Assistant Professor of Applied Psychology
Steinhardt School of Culture, Development, & Education, New York University

Erin looks at how individuals interact with, understand, and are influenced by the social, economic and political systems in which they are embedded, both in the United States and internationally.

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Erin Hennes

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychological Sciences Purdue University

Erin’s research investigates the influence of cognitive and motivated biases on processing of sociopolitical information.

Aaron Kay

Associate Professor of Management and Associate Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience
Duke University

Aaron’s research centers on the application of social cognitive and social psychological theories, principles and processes to the understanding of individual and societal motivations, beliefs and behaviors.

Margarita Krochik


Margarita’s research explored how belief systems structure our mental representations of the world, infuse our lives with meaning, and help guide our behavior.

Alison Ledgerwood

Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
University of California, Davis

Alison is interested in attitudes, social influence, and identity symbols.

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Ido Liviatan

Assistant Professor
Department of Education & Psychology
Open University

Ido is interested in the motivational and cognitive underpinnings of system justification tendencies.

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Avital Mentovich

Assistant Professor of Quantitative Criminology University of Essex, United Kingdom

Tali’s research looks at how people’s perceptions of what is fair affect their perceptions of and reactions to social, legal, political, and public policy issues.

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Hannah Nam

Assistant Professor of Political Science
Stony Brook University

Hannah is interested in the psychological mechanisms and motivations that underlie both resistance to and support for change.

Jaime Napier

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
NYU Abu Dhabi

Jaime’s research focuses on the motivational underpinnings and the social and psychological consequences of belief systems, with a focus on political and religious ideologies.

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Sharareh Noorbaloochi

Sharareh is interested in the behavioral and neural bases of moral-political attitudes and in interventions targeted at promoting global justice.

Ruthie Pliskin

Ruthie Pliskin

Ruthie’s research interests lie in the intersection of ideology and emotional processes, with a focus on emotion regulation, in intergroup relations and otherwise. She is also interested in psychological barriers to intergroup conflict resolution and the psychology of collective action.

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Lindsay Rankin

Lindsay is interested in how the motivation to justify the extant social system influences how we perceive and respond to information.

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Joanna Sterling

Postdoctoral Researcher
Princeton University

Joanna’s research focuses on conceptions of ideology, ideological identification, and inter-party communication.

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Chadly Stern

Assistant Professor of Psychology
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

Chadly is interested in how a perceiver's political ideology influences social perception processes.

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Hulda Thorisdottir

Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
University of Iceland

Hulda’s research focuses on religion, morality, authority, and group dynamics.

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Jojanneke van der Toorn

Associate Professor of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Utrecht University, the Netherlands

The research of Jojanneke van der Toorn mainly focuses on the social psychological mechanisms involved in how, why, and when people resist, provide support for, or directly engage in social change. She studies individuals' desires to change (vs. maintain) the status quo from a variety of angles, such as (1) the influence of structural factors, (2) the underlying motivational forces, and (3) the consequences for the self and society. In this, she is particularly interested in the active contributions of the disadvantaged to the maintenance of societal disparity. She demonstrated, for example, that a sense of dependence leads people to legitimize rather than challenge the structures of inequality that affect them, making them accomplices in their own subjugation.

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Cheryl Wakslak

Associate Professor of Management and Organization
Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California

Cheryl’s research looks at organizational decision-making, focusing on how proximity changes the way individuals represent information, thereby influencing judgment and behavior.

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