How do we reach beyond our current experience? One of the most basic challenges that people face in everyday life is how to cross gaps—gaps that separate self from other, now from future, here from there, and us from them. Even the simplest activities, like having a conversation or planning what to do next week, would be impossible if it were not for the human capacity to get unstuck from current experience and relate to other people, future time points, and distant contexts. My research centers around the social psychological tools that humans have developed to help them reach across these distances.
For instance, in one line of work, I focus on social influence as one tool that people use to either immerse themselves in the current context or to transcend it. This research seeks to shed light on when and why people are more or less susceptible to different kinds of social influence. In a second line of work, I study group symbols as tools that people use to communicate group identity across time, space, and disparate individuals. This research examines when and why people value group identity symbols, such as group monuments and flags, as well as the role that such symbols can play in conflict escalation and resolution.
To learn more about some of the current projects going on in our lab, please visit our lab website.
- Ledgerwood, A., & Callahan, S. P. (2012). The social side of abstraction: Psychological distance enhances conformity to group norms. Psychological Science, 23, 907-913.
- Ledgerwood, A., & Sherman, J. W. (2012). Short, sweet, and problematic? The rise of the short report in psychological science. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 60-66.
- Ledgerwood, A., Mandisodza, A. N., Jost, J. T., & Pohl, M. J. (2011). Working for the system: Motivated defense of meritocratic beliefs. Social Cognition, 3, 322-340.
- Ledgerwood, A., & Shrout, P. E. (2011). The tradeoff between accuracy and precision in latent variable models of mediation processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 1174-1188.
- Smith, P. K., & Ledgerwood, A. (2010). Three problems with dual systems. Psychological Inquiry, 21, 242-249.
- Ledgerwood, A., & Liviatan, I. (2010). The price of a shared vision: Group identity goals and the social creation of value. Social Cognition [Special issue: Shared Reality], 28, 401-421.
- Ledgerwood, A., Trope, Y., & Chaiken, S. (2010). Flexibility now, consistency later: Psychological distance and construal shape evaluative responding. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 32-51.
- Ledgerwood, A., Wakslak, C. J., & Wang, M. A. (2010). Differential information use for near and distant decisions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 638-642.
- Ledgerwood, A., & Chaiken, S. (2007). Priming us and them: Automatic assimilation and contrast in group attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 940-956.
- Ledgerwood, A., Liviatan, I., & Carnevale, P. J. (2007). Group-identity completion and the symbolic value of property. Psychological Science, 18, 873-878.
- Ledgerwood, A., Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2010). Flexibility and consistency in evaluative responding: The function of construal level. In M. P. Zanna & J. M. Olson (Eds.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 43, pp. 257-295). San Diego: Academic Press.
- Ledgerwood, A., Chaiken, S., Gruenfeld, D. H., & Judd, C. M. (2006). Changing minds: Persuasion in negotiation and conflict resolution. In M. Deutsch, P. T. Coleman, & E. C. Marcus (Eds.), The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice (2nd ed., pp. 455-485). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Academic Writing in Psychology
- Attitudes & Social Influence
- Political Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Phone: (530) 752-4401
Department of Psychology
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616