Culture, Diversity, and Social Change

The past decades have seen the world become more urbanized, wealthy, and diverse. These large-scale changes have a wide range of impact on what people value and how they choose to live their lives. The research in this lab focuses on understanding how these changes are unfolding and what the consequences are for cultural change. Specifically, this research lab focuses on measuring how shifts in sociodemographic variables -- such as ethnic diversity and socioeconomic status -- are affecting cultural values.

Key Research Questions:

  • Are changes in the population's ethnic make-up affecting cultural values?

  • Why are cultural values changing and how are they changing?

Relevant Publications:

Huynh, A. C. & Grossmann, I. (2021) Rising ethnic diversity in the United States accompanies shifts toward an individualistic culture. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 12, 1316-1325.

Reasoning and Humility

People often strive to reason over social isuses in ways that demonstrate kindness, humility, and open-mindedness. However, social conflicts and arguments often get the best of us, leading to polarization in our beliefs and views of the world. This research lab focuses on understanding what pitfalls hinder wiser reasoning, tackling questions about why people become immersed in their own views, how to get out it, and the social costs of reasoning wisely vs. not.

Key Research Questions:

  • What individual differences/contextual factors predict wise reasoning: being humble, seeking compromise, and perspective taking?

  • What are the social costs of hubris? Humility?

Relevant Publication(s):

Huynh, A. C., & Grossmann, I. (2018). A pathway for wisdom-focused education. Journal of Moral Education, 49, 9-29. doi: 10.1080/03057240.2018.1496903

Huynh, A. C., Oakes, H., Shay, G., & McGregor, I. (2017). The wisdom in virtue: Pursuit of virtue predicts wise reasoning about personal conflicts. Psychological Science, 28, 1848-1856.

Social Class and Inequality

Social class affects how we see the world -- affecting our values, habits, customs, and preferences. Social class is a wide ranging variable, including educational experience (e.g., first generation college students), as well as income and subjective social class. This research lab studies how these indicators of social class predicts social, cognitive, and motivational factors, with a focus on how these factors may drive systematic inequality.

Key Research Questions:

  • How does social class shape what people focus on across different domains of life (e.g., work, relationships, school)?

  • How do we facilitate success for first-generation college students?

  • Are perceptions of inequality different across social class groups? How does this affect inequality on a broader level?

Relevant Publication(s):

Grossmann, I., & Huynh, A. C. (2013). Where is the culture in social class? Psychological Inquiry, 24, 112-119.