Selected Papers


 Pink, Sophia L., Michael Stagnaro, James Chu, Joe Mernyk, Jan G. Voelkel, and Robb Willer. 2020. “Five Experimental Tests of the Effects of Short Messages on Compliance with COVID-19 Public Health Guidelines.” PsyArXiv Preprint.

Jan Voelkel, Joseph Mernyk, and Robb Willer. "Resolving the Progressive Paradox: Conservative Value Framing of Progressive Economic Policies Increases Candidate Support." PsyArXiv Preprint. PRESS RELEASE.

Yuan Chang Leong, Janice Chen, Robb Willer, Jamil Zaki. 2020. "Conservative and liberal attitudes drive polarized neural responses to political content." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Van Bavel, J. J., Baicker, K., Boggio, P. S., Capraro, V., Cichocka, A., Cikara, M., Crockett, M. J., Crum, A. J., Douglas, K. M., Druckman, J. N. Drury, J., Dube, O., Ellemers, N., Finkel, E. J., Fowler, J. H., Gelfand, M., Han, S., Haslam, S. A., Jetten, J., Kitayama, S., Mobbs, D., Napper, L. E., Packer, D. J., Pennycook, G., Peters, E., Petty, R. E., Rand, D. G., Reicher, S. D., Schnall, S., Shariff, A., Skitka, L. J., Smith, S. S., Sunstein, C. R., Tabri, N., Tucker, J. A., van der Linden, S., Van Lange, P. A. M., Weeden, K. A., Wohl, M. J. A., Zaki, J., Zion, S. & Willer, R. 2020. "Using social and behavioural science to support COVID-19 pandemic response." Nature Human Behaviour.

Nicholas Heiserman, Brent Simpson, and Robb Willer. 2020. “Judgments of Economic Fairness Are Based More on Perceived Economic Mobility Than Perceived Inequality.” Socius.

Matthew Feinberg, Robb Willer, and Chloe Kovacheff. 2020. "The Activist's Dilemma: Extreme Protest Tactics Reduce Popular Support for Social Movements." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Côté, S., Stellar, J. E., Willer, R., Forbes, R. C., Martin, S. R., & Bianchi, E. C. "The Psychology of Entrenched Privilege: High Socioeconomic Status Individuals From Affluent Backgrounds Are Uniquely High in Entitlement." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.


Robb Willer, Matthew Feinberg, and Rachel Wetts. "Threats to Racial Status Promote Tea Party Support Among White Americans." SSRN Working Paper. PRESS RELEASE.

​Matthew Feinberg and Robb Willer. 2019. "Moral Reframing: A Technique for Effective and Persuasive Communication across Political Divides." Social Psychology and Personality Compass.

Rachel Wetts and Robb Willer. 2019. “Who is Called by the Dog Whistle? Experimental Evidence that Racial Resentment and Political Ideology Condition Responses to Racially-Encoded Messages.” Socius.


Andrew Penner and Robb Willer. 2019. "Men’s Overpersistence and the Gender Gap in Science and Mathematics." Socius. 


Rachel Wetts and Robb Willer. 2018. "Privilege on the Precipice: Perceived Racial Status Threats Lead White Americans to Oppose Welfare Programs." Social Forces. PRESS RELEASE.

Jennifer Stellar and Robb Willer. 2018 "Unethical and Inept? The Influence of Moral Information on Perceived Competence." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 114: 195-210.

Brent Simpson, Robb Willer, and Matthew Feinberg. 2018. "Does Violent Protest Backfire? Testing a Theory of Public Reactions to Activist Violence." Socius. PRESS RELEASE.



Brent Simpson, Robb Willer, and Ashley Harrell. 2017. “The Enforcement of Moral Boundaries Promotes Cooperation and Prosocial Behavior in Groups.” Nature Scientific Reports. PRESS RELEASE.



Andrei Boutyline and Robb Willer. 2016. "The Social Structure of Political Echo Chambers: Variation in Ideological Homophily in Online Networks." Political Psychology.


Gavin J. Kilduff, Robb Willer, and Cameron Anderson. 2016. “Hierarchy and its Discontents: Status Disagreement Leads to Withdrawal of Contribution and Lower Group Performance.” Organization Science.



Matthew Feinberg and Robb Willer. 2015. "From Gulf to Bridge: When Moral Arguments Facilitate Political Influence." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALPRESS RELEASE.


Stéphane Côté, Julian House, and Robb Willer. 2015. “High Economic Inequality Leads Higher Income Individuals to be Less Generous.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Brent Simpson and Robb Willer. 2015. “Beyond Altruism: Sociological Foundations of Cooperation and Prosocial Behavior.” Annual Review of Sociology. 41: 43-63.


Robb Willer, Christopher Wimer, and Lindsay Owens.  2015. What Drives the Gender Gap in Charitable Giving? Lower Empathy Leads Men to Give Less to Poverty Relief.” Social Science Research. 52:83-98. PRESS RELEASE.

Jojanneke van der Toorn, Matthew Feinberg, John T. Jost, Aaron C. Kay, Tom R. Tyler, Robb Willer, Caroline Wilmuth. 2015. "A Sense of Powerlessness Fosters System Justification." Political Psychology. 36(1): 93-110. PRESS RELEASE.



Matthew Feinberg, Robb Willer, and Michael Schultz. 2014. "Gossip and Ostracism Promote Cooperation in Groups." Psychological Science. 25: 656-664. PRESS RELEASE.


Jennifer Stellar and Robb Willer. 2014. "The Corruption of Value: Negative Moral Associations Diminish the Value of Money." Social Psychological and Personality Science. 5: 60-66. PRESS RELEASE.


Cameron Anderson and Robb Willer. 2014. “Do Status Hierarchies  Benefit Groups? A Bounded Functionalist Account.” Pp. 47-70 in The Psychology of Social Status (Eds. J. T. Cheng, J. L. Tracy, & C. Anderson). New York: Springer.



Robb Willer, Christabel Rogalin, Bridget Conlon, and Michael T. Wojnowicz. 2013. "Overdoing Gender: A Test of the Masculine Overcompensation Thesis." American Journal of Sociology. 118:980-1022. PRESS RELEASE.


Matthew Feinberg and Robb Willer. 2013. "The Moral Roots of Environmental Attitudes." Psychological Science. 24:56-62. SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL.  PRESS RELEASE.


Stéphane Côté, Paul Piff, and Robb Willer. 2013. "For Whom Do the Ends Justify the Means? Social Class and Utilitarian Moral Judgment." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 104:490-503.


Brent Simpson, Ashley Harrell, and Robb Willer. 2013. "Hidden Paths from Morality to Social Order: Moral Judgments Promote Prosocial Behavior." Social Forces. 91:1529-1548.


Matthew Feinberg, Olga Antonenko, Robb Willer, E.J. Horberg, and Oliver P. John. 2013. "Gut Check: Reappraisal of Disgust Helps Explain Liberal-Conservative Differences on Issues of Purity." Emotion. 14(3):513-521.


Laura Saslow, Robb Willer, Matthew Feinberg, Paul K. Piff, Katharine Clark, Dacher Keltner, and Sarina R. Saturn. 2013. "My Brother's Keeper? Compassion Predicts Generosity More Among Less Religious Individuals." Social Psychological and Personality Science. 4:31-38. PRESS RELEASE.



Robb Willer, Francis J. Flynn, and Sonya Zak. 2012. "Structure, Identity and Solidarity: A Comparative Field Study of Direct and Generalized Exchange." Administrative Science Quarterly. 57:119-155. PRESS RELEASE.


Brent Simpson, Robb Willer, and Cecilia Ridgeway. 2012. "Status Hierarchies and the Organization of Collective Action." Sociological Theory. 30:149-166.


Cameron Anderson, Robb Willer, Gavin Kilduff, and Courtney Brown. 2012. "The Origins of Deference: When do People Prefer Lower Status?" Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 102:1077-1088.


Matthew Feinberg, Robb Willer, Jennifer Stellar, and Dacher Keltner. 2012. "The Virtues of Gossip: Reputational Information Sharing as Prosocial Behavior." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 102:1015-1030. PRESS RELEASE.


Matthew Feinberg, Robb Willer, and Dacher Keltner. 2012. "Flustered and Faithful: Embarrassment as a Signal of Prosociality." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 102:81-97. PRESS RELEASE.


Robb Willer, Reef Youngreen, Lisa Troyer, and Michael Lovaglia. 2012. "How Do the Powerful Attain Status? The Roots of Legitimate Power Inequalities." Managerial and Decision Economics. 33:355-367. 


Matthew Feinberg, Robb Willer, Olga Antonenko, and Oliver John. 2012. "Liberating Reason from the Passions: Overriding Intuitionist Moral Judgments through Emotional Reappraisal." Psychological Science. 23:788-795.



Matthew Feinberg and Robb Willer. 2011. "Apocalypse Soon? Dire Messages Reduce Belief in Global Warming by Contradicting Just World Beliefs." Psychological Science. 22:34-38. PRESS RELEASE.



Robb Willer, Matthew Feinberg, Kyle Irwin, Michael Schultz, and Brent Simpson. 2010. "The Trouble with Invisible Men: How Reputational Concerns Motivate Generosity." Pp. 315-330 in The Handbook of the Sociology of Morality. Eds. Steve Hitlin and Stephen Vaisey. New York: Springer.of Sociology. 110(4):1009-40.



Robb Willer, Ko Kuwabara, and Michael W. Macy. 2009. "The False Enforcement of Unpopular Norms." American Journal of Sociology. 115:451-90.


Robb Willer. 2009. "Groups Reward Individual Sacrifice: The Status Solution to the Collective Action Problem." American Sociological Review. 74:23-43. PRESS RELEASE.


Robb Willer. 2009. "A Status Theory of Collective Action." Pp. 133-63 in Advances in Group Processes, Vol. 26. Eds. Shane R. Thye and Edward J. Lawler. London: Emerald.


Robb Willer. 2009. "No Atheists in Foxholes: Motivated Reasoning and Religious Ideology." Pp. 241-264 in Social and Psychological Bases of Ideology and System Justification. Eds. John T. Jost, Aaron C. Kay, and Hulda Thorisdottir. Oxford University Press.



Robb Willer and Nick Adams. 2008. "The Threat of Terrorism and Support for the 2008 Presidential Candidates: Results of a National Field Experiment." Current Research in Social Psychology. 14(1):1-22. PRESS RELEASE.



Brent Simpson and Robb Willer. 2008. "Altruism and Indirect Reciprocity: The Interaction of Person and Situation in Prosocial Behavior." Social Psychology Quarterly. 71:37-52.



Ko Kuwabara, Robb Willer, Michael W. Macy, Rie Mashima, Shigeru Terai, and Toshio Yamagishi. 2007. "Culture, Identity, and Structure in Social Exchange: A Web-based Trust Experiment in the U.S. and Japan." Social Psychology Quarterly. 70:461-79.


Robb Willer. 2007. "The Role of Metanetworks in Network Evolution." Journal of Mathematical Sociology. 31:101-119.


Stephen Benard and Robb Willer. 2007. "A Wealth and Status-Based Model of Residential Segregation."Journal of Mathematical Sociology. 31:149-174.


Pat Barclay and Robb Willer. 2007. "Partner Choice Creates Competitive Altruism in Humans." Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences. 274:749-753. PRESS RELEASE.



Damon Centola, Robb Willer, and Michael W. Macy. 2005. "The Emperor's Dilemma: A Computational Model of Self-Enforcing Norms." American Journal of Sociology. 110(4):1009-40.


Robb Willer, Lisa Troyer, and Michael J. Lovaglia. 2005. "Influence Over Observers of Structural Power: An Experimental Investigation." The Sociological Quarterly. 46:263-77.



Robb Willer. 2004. "The Effects of Government-Issued Terror Warnings on Presidential Approval Ratings." Current Research in Social Psychology. 10(1): 1-12.



Michael W. Macy and Robb Willer. 2002. "From Factors to Actors: Computational Sociology and Agent-Based Modeling." Annual Review of Sociology. 28:143-66.





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© 2016 by Robb Willer.