Dr. Brian Lickel, Professor of Social Psychology and Director of the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program
Dr. Lickel’s research focuses on how people interpret events in intergroup conflicts and how these interpretations affect their emotions, self-concepts, and support for different social and political policies. A key assumption in his work is that understanding people’s emotions is important for unlocking the processes that amplify or reduce intergroup conflict.
Recently, much of his work has examined what determines the emotions that occur in the context of violent intergroup conflicts and how these emotions predict support or opposition to intergroup aggression. Besides understanding people’s reactions to these macro-conflicts, he also studies emotional reactions in interpersonal situations where inter-group conflicts come into play (such as people’s reactions to observing anti-Muslim discrimination in the United States).
Looking forward, the two primary themes of his upcoming research are:
• Understanding how the cognitive and emotional processes of individuals are influenced by (and influence) the social and political processes in groups during intergroup conflicts.
• Understanding the processes by which people reflect on and change their personal values and entrenched habits, particularly in contexts that evoke feelings of anxiety and shame.