This site contains some information about the research being done in my lab at UMass Amherst.

Our 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.   Recently, much of this 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, we also study 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 our 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.

Some Recent Talks

Lickel, B. & Steele, R. (2013) Social and Psychological Processes Underlying Intergroup Retaliation and Reconciliation, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios Interculturales e Indígenas, August 8, 2013

Lickel, B. (2012). Emotions in the Context of War and Political Violence: The U.S. after September 11, Invited talk, Emotions and the Self Symposium, Tilburg University, Netherlands, January 2012.

Lickel, B. (2011) Proximal Causes of Intergroup Aggression: Psychological Processes Underlying Group-Based Retaliation and Revenge.  Invited Keynote Speaker, Workshop Aggression, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany, November 2011

Some Representative Publications

Iyer, A., Schmader, T., & Lickel, B.  (2007). Why individuals protest the perceived transgressions of their country: The role of anger, shame, and guilt.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 572-587.

Johns, M., Schmader, T., & Lickel, B. (2005). Ashamed to be an American? The role of identification in predicting vicarious shame for Anti-Arab prejudice after 9-11.  Self and Identity, 4, 331-348.

Lickel, B., Miller, N., Stenstrom, D. M., Denson, T. F., & Schmader, T. (2006). Vicarious retribution: The role of collective blame in intergroup aggression.  Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10, 372-390.

Lickel, B. Steele, R., & Schmader, T. (2011).  Group-based shame and guilt: Emerging directions in research.  Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5, 153-163.

Ronquillo, J., Denson, T. F., Lickel, B., Lu, Z. L., Nandy A., & Maddox, K. B. (2007). The effects of skin tone on race-related amygdala activity: An fMRI investigation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2, 39-44.

Schmader, T., Croft, A., Scarner, M., Lickel, B., & Mendes, W. B., (2012) Implicit and explicit emotional reactions to witnessing prejudice., Group Processes and Intergroup Relations,15,  379-392.

Spanovic, M., Lickel, B. Petrovic, N., & Denson T. F. (2010).  Fear and anger as predictors of motivation for intergroup aggression: Evidence from Serbia and Republika Srpska. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 13, 725-739.

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