Figure 1 from Brandt & Reyna, 2017

People have a pervasive tendency to support the status quo, a finding that is consistent across psychological subdisciplines including judgment and decision making, social psychology, and political psychology. In the lab, we are interested in this from two directions. First, we are interested in how power and social status predict support for the status quo (Brandt, 2013). Second, we are interested in the cognitive processes that bolster such status quo biases. One approach looks at how how memory retrieval processes might underly support for the status quo (Spälti et al., 2017). In general, the goal is understand the precise processes, so that these biases can be reduced

Key Project Publications

  • Brandt, M. J., Kuppens, T., Spears, R., Andrighetto, L., Autin, F., Babincak, P. … & Zimmerman, J. L. (2020). Subjective status and perceived legitimacy across countries. European Journal of Social Psychology, 50, 921-942. doi | pdf | code | data
  • Brandt, M. J. & Reyna, C. (2017). Individual differences in the resistance to social change and acceptance of inequality predict system legitimacy differently depending on the social structure. European Journal of Personality, 31, 266-278. doi | pdf | code | data
  • Henry, P. J., Wetherell, G., & Brandt, M. J. (2015). Democracy as a legitimizing ideology. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 21, 648-664. doi | pdf
  • Brandt, M. J. (2013). Do the disadvantaged legitimize the social system? A large-scale test of the status-legitimacy hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104, 765-785. Footnote 7 Results| Footnote 9 Results doi | pdf | code
  • Spälti, A. K., Brandt, M. J., & Zeelenberg, M. (2017). Memory retrieval processes help explain the incumbency advantage. Judgment and Decision Making, 12, 173-182. doi | pdf | code | data
Political Psychology Lab