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Robb Willer

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Robb Willer

Professor of Sociology, Psychology (by courtesy), and Organizational Behavior in the Graduate School of Business (by courtesy)
Ph.D., Cornell University, 2006
M.A., Cornell University, 2004
B.A., University of Iowa, 1999
Phone: 
650-736-6509

About

Robb Willer is a Professor in the Departments of Sociology, Psychology (by courtesy), and the Graduate School of Business (by courtesy) at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from Cornell University and his B.A. in Sociology from the University of Iowa. He previously taught at the University of California, Berkeley.

Professor Willer’s teaching and research focus on the bases of social order. One line of his research investigates the factors driving the emergence of collective action, norms, solidarity, generosity, and status hierarchies. In other research, he explores the social psychology of political attitudes, including the effects of fear, prejudice, and masculinity in contemporary U.S. politics. Most recently, his work has focused on morality, studying how people reason about what is right and wrong and the social consequences of their judgments. His research involves various empirical and theoretical methods, including laboratory and field experiments, surveys, direct observation, archival research, physiological measurement, agent-based modeling, and social network analysis.

Willer’s research has appeared in such journals as the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Annual Review of Sociology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Administrative Science Quarterly, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences. He has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. His work has received paper awards from the American Sociological Association’s sections on Social Psychology, Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity, Mathematical Sociology, Peace, War, and Social Conflict, and Rationality and Society.

His research has also received widespread media coverage including from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, Science, Nature, Time, U.S. News and World Report, Scientific American, Harper’s, Slate, CNN, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, and National Public Radio.

Willer was the 2009 recipient of the Golden Apple Teaching award, the only teaching award given by UC-Berkeley's student body.

 

Selected Publications

Journal Articles & Book Chapters

Related News

Oct 12 2018 | Stanford News
When a protest group with strong public support turns violent, people may perceive them as less reasonable. In turn, this leads people to identify with them less, and ultimately become less supportive, according to a new study by Stanford sociologist Robb Willer. Protestors are not helping their...
May 31 2018 | Washington Post
White Americans are increasingly critical of the country’s social safety net, a new study suggests, thanks in part to a rising tide of racial resentment.   The study, conducted by researchers at two California universities and published Wednesday in the journal Social Forces, finds that opposition...
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