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Kristin Laurin

Kristin Laurin’s work is focused on the psychology of big ideas— politics, religion, morality —and how they relate to people’s goals and motivations. She is particularly interested in people’s tendency to rationalize aspects of the world that they find disturbing. Intersecting with this interest, Laurin has explored both the causes and consequences of inequality: for instance, how social inequality influences psychology, and how human psychology can work to reinforce inequality.


International Social Cognition Network (ISCON) Early Career Award

Association for Psychological Science Rising Star award

International Association for the Psychology of Religion Early Career Award

Stanford Graduate School of Business Distinguished Service Award for PhD Advising

University of Waterloo Alumni Gold Medal for Doctoral Studies

Relevant Publications

K. Laurin (in press). Inaugurating rationalization: Three field studies find increased rationalization when anticipated realities become current. Psychological Science.

P. Belmi, K. Laurin, "Who wants to get to the top? Class and lay theories about power," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 111, 505-529, 2016.

K. Laurin, A.C. Kay, G.J. Fitzsimons, "Reactance versus rationalization: Divergent responses to constrained freedom," Psychological Science, 23, 205-209, 2012.

K. Laurin, G.M. Fitzsimons, A.C. Kay, "Social Disadvantage and the Self-Regulatory Function of Justice Beliefs," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 149-171, 2011.

K. Laurin, S. Shepherd, A.C. Kay, "System inescapability and defense of the status quo: System-justifying consequences of restricted exit opportunities," Psychological Science, 21, 1075-1082, 2010.



CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar Successful Societies


University of British ColumbiaPsychology


PhD in Psychology University of Waterloo

MA in Psychology University of Waterloo

BSc Honours in Psychology McGill University



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