How are social and economic hierarchies self-perpetuating?

Psychologist Michael W. Kraus explores the emotional and hierarchical dynamics of human social interactions. His current research explores the behaviors and emotional states that maintain and perpetuate economic and social inequality in society. He also studies the emotional processes that allow individuals and teams to work together more effectively. Learn more »


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Latest Preprints from PsyArxiv

The Structural Dynamics of Social Class

Individual agency accounts of social class persist in society and even in psychological science despite clear evidence for the role of social structures. This article argues that social class is defined by the structural dynamics of society—access to powerful networks, groups, and institutions, and inequalities in wealth and other economic resources—which shape proximal social environments that influence how individuals express their internal states and motivations.

Microaggressions as Part of the Historical Context of Stigma and Prejudice
In this comment we articulate one central failing in Lilienfeld’s (2017) perspective on microaggression research in psychological science: Namely, that any analysis of modern forms of expressed prejudice, be they subtle or overt, that does not acknowledge the historical context in which these forms of prejudice are expressed is likely to be fraught with challenges and potential for misunderstanding.

Judgments of Interpersonal Warmth Predict Class-Based Voting Preferences
The present research examined how social class groups shape patterns of political participation. Drawing on research linking lower-class individuals to heightened attunement to others’ needs and behavior, we predicted that lower-class individuals would be more sensitive to different types of warm messages, modulating their trust and voting behavior more acutely to these messages than upper-class individuals.