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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Brian Lickel

Second Advisor

Ezra Markowitz

Third Advisor

Holly Laws

Fourth Advisor

Linda Tropp

Subject Categories

Social Psychology


This dissertation presents three investigations into distinct processes that attempt to explain people’s decision making around social change action in three identity-laden domains. Chapter 1 reviews existing literature and theory on how social identity and social change beliefs can impact social change action. Chapter 2 examines identity-based motivated cognition by showing how identification as a meat-eater leads to biased estimates of meat reduction’s climate change impacts. Chapter 3 examines cisgender student reactions to faculty who use gender pronouns as an inclusion strategy for transgender and gender nonconforming students to examine if this action leads to stereotyping and judgement. Chapter 4 investigates social change beliefs in the climate change domain to examine how people’s beliefs about structural ‘top-down’ and individual ‘bottom-up’ change relate to other social change beliefs, support, and action. Chapter 5 concludes by discussing future empirical directions and implications for researchers and social change actors.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Friday, September 01, 2023