I am a social and political psychologist working at the Sidanius Lab in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. My main research interest lies in analyzing the psychological, political, and socioeconomic mechanisms that facilitate the maintenance and reproduction of social inequality and power/dominance relations. In this regard, I am focusing on different manifestations of social inequality and dominance as reflected in societal deviations regarding access to material and cultural goods, social status, and institutional representation between dominant and subordinate groups.
One line of my research investigates the effects of macrocontextual developments (i.e., neoliberal globalization) on social inequality vis-à-vis psychological and behavioral consequences. My current research focuses on the interaction between ideological attitudes, intergroup emotions, perceptions of socioeconomic malaise, and political disillusionment grievance that undergird the appeal of and support for left- and right-wing populist parties and movements in cross-country comparison. In this regard, I investigate the emotional and structural boundaries of (des-)integration processes of Muslims and Islam into Western societies and the subsequent repercussions of this processes on the perceptions of social cohesion and intergroup relations. Another line of my research is analyzing the effects of climate change and associated threat perceptions (or the lack thereof) on political attitudes and intergroup relations. Overall, my research aims at contributing to timely and urgent social and political issues through both, theoretically and methodologically rigourous analysis, advancing research in social and political psychology, as well as practically applicable suggestions for intergroup conflict mitigation.
Before becoming a psychologist, I earned my Master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Ethnomusicology from the Free University of Berlin, Germany. After a brief time working as a PhD student in the field of Psychology of Religion at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, I completed my PhD at the Department of Social Sciences at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany (summa cum laude). Currently, I am also an associated research fellow at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Conflict and Violence Research (IKG), located at the University of Bielefeld in Germany.