Aaron C. Kay is a Professor of Management and Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University. He received his Ph.D. in social psychology from Stanford University in 2005.

His research centers on the application of social cognitive and social psychological theories, principles, and processes to the understanding of individual and societal motivations, beliefs, and behaviors. He has a particular interest in how basic motivations and needs manifest as specific social and societal beliefs. These include (but are not limited to) the causes and consequences of stereotyping and system justification, religious belief, political ideology, and the attitudes people hold towards their organizations and institutions.

Aaron is currently serving as the president of the International Society of Justice Research and as an associate editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He has been named a Fellow of the American Psychological Society as well as the Society of Experimental Social Social Psychology, and his research is widely covered in national and international news and media outlets.


  • Dorothy Harlow Best Paper Award, Gender and Diversity Division of the Academy of
    Management, 2015 (for paper entitled Creativity is Gendered, co-authored with Devon
    Proudfoot and Christy Koval)
  • Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions, Association for Psychological Science, 2012
  • Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize (Honorable Mention), Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, 2012
  • Rising Star, Association for Psychological Science, 2011
  • SAGE Young Scholar Award, Foundation of Personality and Social Psychology, 2010
  • Early Career Contribution Award, International Society of Justice Researchers, 2010
  • Outstanding Performance Award, University of Waterloo, 2009
  • Early Researcher Award, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, 2009
  • Dissertation Award, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, 2006
  • Dissertation Award (runner-up), Society for Experimental Social Psychology, 2006