How do basic motivations and needs shape our attitudes, beliefs and ideologies?

Aaron Kay uses social cognitive and social psychological theories, principles, and processes to understand individual and societal motivations, beliefs, and behaviors. These include (but are not limited to) the causes and consequences of stereotyping, religious belief, political ideology, and the attitudes people hold toward their organizations and institutions.


Research Interests


How do people maintain beliefs in just and legitimate social systems despite glaring examples of injustice and inequality? What psychological mechanisms prevent social change and maintain the status quo? What are the motivational bases of specific ideological and religious belief systems?