Hi, I’m Laura – welcome to my website! I am a social psychologist and a sixth year graduate student at Ohio State University.

I study the psychology of change: what factors lead people to question the status quo and seek to improve themselves, others, or social arrangements and institutions?

My approach integrates and contributes to basic social psychological research on persuasion, social motivation, social cognition, intergroup relations, and collective action, with applications to diversity, politics, social movements, education, and health.


To date, my work has centered on four major questions:

  1. how do social institutions influence wellbeing and health?
  2. when are people willing to seek change in their social institutions?
  3. when will people act on their beliefs?
  4. what factors determine when people will change their minds?

Recently, I have been examining how perceiving others as biased versus dishonest (think “biased” versus “fake” news) can have opposite influences on their persuasiveness.

I have also conducted research on people’s “system-change motivation.” Our research suggests that in addition to being motivated to defend the status quo (system justification motivation), people can also be genuinely motivated to improve their social systems.

Please navigate this website to learn more about me and my research. Feel free to get in touch if you want to know more!

Download CV [updated September 13, 2018]