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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.

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  • Phillips, L.T. & Jun, S. (In press). Why benefitting from discrimination is less recognized as discrimination. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

  • 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. 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

Under Revision

  • *Tomova Shakur, T.K. & Phillips, L.T. What counts as discrimination? The role of relevance and controllability in understanding how demographic decisions affect fairness.

  • Phillips, L.T., Kreps, T.A., & Chugh, D. Allies for whom? How self-transcendence and self-enhancement affect ally engagement and effectiveness.