Is privilege real? How is advantage maintained? Who has privilege?

I study social hierarchies – how they are built, maintained, experienced, and changed. I am especially interested in the psychology of advantage or privilege. How does elite or privileged position in a social hierarchy influence beliefs, motivations, and behavior? I examine people’s motivations and beliefs about inequality, race, and diversity, and how these beliefs influence intergroup behavior and social inequality.

Download condensed CV


Phillips, L.T., Jun, S., and Shakeri, A. (2022). Barriers and boosts: Using inequity frames theory to expand understanding of race and gender inequity. Academy of Management Annals, 16, 547-587. Download

Tomova Shakur, T.K. & Phillips, L.T. (2022). What counts as discrimination? How principles of merit shape fairness of demographic decisions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Download

Phillips, L.T. & Jun, S. (2022). Why benefiting from discrimination is less recognized as discrimination. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 122, 825-852. Download

Alt, N. & Phillips, L.T. (2022). Person perception, meet people perception: Exploring the social vision of groups. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 17, 768-787. (shared first-authorship). Download

Jachimowicz, J.M., Davidai, S., Goya-Tocchetto, D., Szaszi, B., Day, M.V., Tepper, S.J., Phillips, L.T., Usman Mizra, U., Ordabayeva, N., & Hauser, O.P. (2022). Inequality in researcher’s minds: Four guiding questions for studying subjective perceptions of economic inequality. Journal of Economic Surveys. Download

Craig, M.A. & Phillips, L.T. (2021). Group-based hierarchies of power and status. In L. Huddy, D. O. Sears, J. S. Levy, & J. Jerit (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology (3rd Edition).

Anicich, E. M., Jachimowicz, J. M., Osborne, M. R., & Phillips, L.T. (2021). Structuring local environments to avoid racial diversity: Anxiety drives Whites’ geographical and institutional self-segregation preferences. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 95, 104-117. Download

Phillips, L.T. & Lowery, B.S. (2020). I ain’t no fortunate one: On the motivated denial of class privilege. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 119, 1403-1422. Download

Phillips, L.T., Martin, S. R., & Belmi, P. (2020). Social class transitions: Three guiding questions for moving the study of class to a dynamic perspective. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 14, e12560. Download

Phillips, L.T., Stephens, N.M, Townsend, S.S.M., & Goudeau, S. (2020). Access is not enough: Cultural mismatch persists to limit first-generation students’ opportunities for achievement throughout college. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 119, 1112-1131. Download

Zitek, E. M. & Phillips, L. T. (2020). Ease and control: The cognitive benefits of hierarchy. Current Opinion in Psychology, 33, 131-135. Download

Phillips, L.T. & Lowery, B.S. (2018). Herd invisibility: The psychology of racial privilege. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27, 156-162. Download

Phillips, L.T., Slepian, M.L, Hughes, B.L. (2018). Perceiving groups: The people perception of diversity and hierarchy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 114, 766-785. Download

Phillips, L.T. & Lowery, B.S. (2015). The hard-knock life? Whites claim hardships in response to race inequity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 61, 12-18. Download

Halevy, N. & Phillips, L.T. (2015). Conflict templates in negotiations, disputes, joint decisions, and tournaments. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 6, 13-22. Download

Phillips, L.T., Weisbuch, M., & Ambady, N. (2014). People perception: Social vision of groups and consequences for organizing and interacting. Research in Organizational Behavior, 34, 101-127. Download

Stephens, N.M., Markus, H.R., & Phillips, L.T. (2014). Social class culture cycles: How three gateway contexts shape selves and fuel inequality. Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 611-634. Download

Phillips, L.T., Conner, A.L., Cohen, G., Eberhardt, J.L., & Maitreyi, A. (2014). Identity activation to improve donor recruitment, retention, and conversion. SPARQ Solutions Catalog, Case Analysis.

Stephens, N.M., Townsend, S.S.M., Markus, H.R., & Phillips, L.T. (2012). A cultural mismatch: Independent cultural norms produce greater increases in cortisol and more negative emotions among first-generation college students. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 1389-1393. Download

All articles are the sole copyright of the respective publishers. Materials are provided for personal, educational use only.