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Kristin Laurin


  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017-2019
  • Successful Societies




Kristin Laurin’s work is focused on the psychology of big ideas – politics, religion, morality – and how they relate to people’s goals and motivations.

She is particularly interested in people’s tendency to rationalize aspects of the world that they find disturbing. Intersecting with this interest, Laurin has explored both the causes and consequences of inequality: for instance, how social inequality influences psychology, and how psychology can work to reinforce inequality.


  • Early Career Award, International Social Cognition Network (ISCON)
  • Rising Star Award, Association for Psychological Science
  • Early Career Award, International Association for the Psychology of Religion
  • Distinguished Service Award for PhD Advising, Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • University of Waterloo Alumni Gold Medal for Doctoral Studies

Relevant Publications

  • Laurin, K. “Inaugurating rationalization: Three field studies find increased rationalization when anticipated realities become current.” Psychological Science 29, no. 4 (2018): 483–95.
  • Belmi, P., and K. Laurin. "Who wants to get to the top? Class and lay theories about power." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 111 (2016): 505–29.
  • Laurin, K., A.C. Kay, and G.J. Fitzsimons. "Reactance versus rationalization: Divergent responses to constrained freedom." Psychological Science 23 (2012): 205–09.
  • Laurin, K., G.M. Fitzsimons, and A.C. Kay. "Social Disadvantage and the Self-Regulatory Function of Justice Beliefs." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 100 (2011): 149–71.
  • Laurin, K., S. Shepherd, and A.C. Kay. "System inescapability and defense of the status quo: System-justifying consequences of restricted exit opportunities." Psychological Science 21 (2010): 1075–1082.

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