Chris Crandall

Chris Crandall
  • Professor

Contact Info

Fraser Hall, Room 454


Ph.D. in Psychology (Social), University of Michigan


Our lab is working on issues related to how the expression of prejudice is different from the underlying "genuine" prejudice. We began studying prejudice against fat people as a starting point to understand a wide variety of prejudices; in addition to the usual study of racism and sexism, we are studying prejudice against socially unacceptable groups, such as murderers, rapists, and sex offenders.


We have been studying the justification of prejudice, particularly through ideology, values, stereotypes, and the kinds of explanations people make for bad outcomes. When a person is seen to be responsible for their behavior and life outcomes, then discrimination, hatred, and rough treatment is not only justified, but seen as natural, ethical, and good.


We are also working on the underlying psychological nature of political ideology--how natural, normal, non-political social-cognitive processes affect political ideology, and working on the naive perception of political process, testing the perceptual theory of legitimacy. Part of this is a social cognition approach to ideology, including the propensity to confuse "the way things are" with "the way things ought to be" (e.g., status quo bias, naturalistic fallacy, existence bias).


Finally, we are continuing to work on the perceptual theory of political legitimacy (Crandall & Beasley, 2001). In the perceptual theory, we apply the processes described by Heider (1958)—consistency, balance, perception of units, attribution—to political cognition and perception. The theory has been successfully applied to areas as diverse as candidate perception, attitudes toward impeachment, and to American conduct of covert wars and assignment of suspects to torture or "mere" detainment.

Research Interests

  • Prejudice
  • Social Influence
  • Political Psychology
  • Similarity and Friendship


  • Prejudice
  • Intro Psych
  • Graduate Social
  • Group Dynamics
  • Research methods
  • Social Influence
  • Political Psychology

Selected Publications

Bahns, A., Crandall, C., Gillath, O., & {reacher, K. (2017). Similarity in relationships as niche construction: Choice, stability, and influence within dyads in a free choice environment. [Journal Articles]. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 112(2), 329–356.

Omelicheva, M., Beasley, R., & Crandall, C. (2016). The U.S. has a long history of hacking other democracies [Periodicals (newsletter, magazine, etc.)]. In Washington Post. Access this publication.

Crandall, C., & White, M., II. (2016). Trump and the social psychology of prejudice [Periodicals (newsletter, magazine, etc.)]. In Undark. MIT. Access this publication.

Crandall, C., & White, M., II. (2016). Trump and the social psychology of prejudice. [Web Publishing (article, blog, etc.)]. In Undark Magazine. MIT Press. Access this publication.

Crandall, C. S., & White , M. H., II. (2016). Trump and the social psychology of prejudice. [Periodicals (newsletter, magazine, etc.)]. In UnDark. Knight Science Journalism Program. Access this publication.

Crandall, C. S., Cox, O., Beasley, R., & Omelicheva, M. (2016). Covert operations, wars, detainee destinations, and the psychology of democratic peace [Journal Articles]. Journal of Conflict Resolution. Published.

Crandall, C. S., & Sherman, J. W. (2016). On the scientific superiority of conceptual replications for scientific progress [Journal Articles]. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 66, 93–99. Access this publication.

Van Berkel, L., & Crandall, C. S. (2015). Hierarchy, dominance, and deliberation: Egalitarian values require mental effort [Journal Articles]. . . Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41, 1207–1222.

Choi, B., Crandall, C., & La, S. (2014). Permission to be prejudiced: Legitimacy credits in the evaluation of advertisements [Journal Articles]. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 44, 190–200.

Eidelman, S., & Crandall, C. S. (2014). The intuitive traditionalist: How biases for existence and longevity promote the status quo [Journal Articles]. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 50, 53–104.

Bahns, A. J., Crandall, C. S., Canevello, A., & Crocker, J. (2013). Deciding to dissolve: Individual- and relationship-level predictors of roommate breakup [Journal Articles]. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 35, 164–175.

Stangor, C., & Crandall, C. S. (Eds.). (2013). Stereotyping and Prejudice: Frontiers of Social Psychology [Books]. Psychology Press.

Crandall, C. S., Ferguson, M. A., & Bahns, A. J. (2013). When we see prejudice: The normative window and social change [Book Chapters]. In Stereotyping and Prejudice (pp. 53–69). Psychology Press.

Eidelman, S., & Crandall, C. S. (2012). Bias in favor of the status quo [Journal Articles]. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 6, 270–281.

Eidelman, S., Crandall, C. S., Goodman, J. A., & Blanchar, J. C. (2012). Low-effort thought promotes political conservatism [Journal Articles]. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 808–820. Access this publication.

Bahns, A., Pickett, K., & Crandall, C. S. (2012). Social ecology of similarity: Big schools, small schools and social relationships [Journal Articles]. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 15, 119–131.

Crandall, C. S., Bahns, A., Warner, R., & Schaller, M. (2011). Stereotypes as justifications of prejudice [Journal Articles]. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 1488–1498.

Eidelman, S., Crandall, C. S., & Pattershall, J. (2009). The existence bias [Journal Articles]. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 765–775.

Adams, G., Biernat, M. R., Branscombe, N. R., Crandall, C. S., & Wrightsman, L. S. (Eds.). (2007). Commemorating Brown: The social psychology of racism and discrimination [Books]. American Psychological Association.

O’Brien, L. T., & Crandall, C. S. (2005). Perceiving self-interest: Power, ideology, and maintenance of the status quo [Journal Articles]. Social Justice Research, 18, 1–24.

Schaller, M., & Crandall, C. S. (Eds.). (2004). The psychological foundations of culture [Books]. Erlbaum.

Crandall, C. S., & Eshleman, A. (2003). A justification-suppression model of the expression and experience of prejudice [Journal Articles]. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 414–446.

Crandall, C. S., Eshleman, A., & O’Brien, L. T. (2002). Social norms and the expression and suppression of prejudice: The struggle for internalization [Journal Articles]. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 359–378.

Crandall, C. S., & Beasley, R. K. (2001). A perceptual theory of legitimacy: Politics, prejudice, social institutions and moral value [Book Chapters]. In J. Jost & B. Major (Eds.), The psychology of legitimacy: Emerging perspectives on ideology, justice, and intergroup relations (pp. 77–102). Cambridge University Press.

Crandall, C., Miller, J., & White, M., II. (accepted/in press). Changing norms following the 2016 U.S. Presidential election: The Trump Effect on prejudice [Journal Articles]. Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Awards & Honors


Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

2016 - 2018


I have served as University Senate President, Co-Chaired the Post-Tenure Review Committee, helped select Social Media Committee, and worked extensively with University Senate.

I have worked closely with two societies, Society for Personality and Social Psychology (Div. 8, APA) and Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI, Div. 9, APA).

I am currently the Past-Presidentof SPSSI, where I have chaired the Publications, the Membership Grants-in-Aid, and Teaching Awards Committees.

I am the Editor of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.