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Stephen Wright

Stephen Wright

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Stephen Wright's research interests focus primarily on intergroup relations and the effects of salient group membership on the cognitions, affect, and behaviors of the individual.

Present research projects include testing elements of social identity theory, determining the effects of perceived collective control, and investigating the impact of cross-group friendships on intergroup attitude and behavior. His major research interest involves laboratory and field research on the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral consequences of being a target of discrimination. This work includes investigation of the conditions that lead disadvantaged group members to accept their disadvantaged position, to take individual action to improve their personal position, or to engage instead in collective action to alter the conditions of the disadvantaged group as a whole. Recently, this work has focused on the specific intergroup context of tokenism; situations where only a small number of members of a traditionally disadvantaged group are allowed access to advantaged positions, while the rest continue to face discriminatory exclusion.

Professor Wright is also interested in issues of minority language and culture and directs two program of field research in this area. The first is a longitudinal study of social and educational issues relevant to the maintenance and enhancement of Inuit language and culture in the Canadian Eastern Arctic. This ongoing project investigates the importance of community attitudes and practices, as well as educational policies and practices on Inuit children's acquisition and maintenance of heritage language skills, second language acquisition, self-concept development and intergroup attitudes. The second project investigates the role of language of instruction on the self-esteem and intergroup attitudes of minority language and majority language children in public schools. Both projects have implications for theoretical work on multiculturalism and multilingualism, as well as for educational and community policy making.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Communication, Language
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Group Processes
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Self and Identity

Research Group or Laboratory:


  • Moghaddam, F. M., Taylor, D. M., & Wright, S. C. (1993). Social psychology: A cross-cultural perspective. New York: W. H. Freeman.

Journal Articles:

  • Becker, J., & Wright, S. C. (2011). Yet another dark side of chivalry: Benevolent sexism undermines and hostile sexism motivates collective action for social change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 62-77.
  • Davies, K., Tropp, L. R., Aron, A., Pettigrew, T. F., & Wright, S. C. (2011). Cross-group friendships and intergroup attitudes: A meta-analytic review. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 15, 332-351.
  • Mazziotta, A., Mummendey, A., & Wright, S. C. (2011). Vicarious contact can improve intergroup attitudes and prepare for direct contact. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 14, 255-274.
  • Richard, N. T., & Wright, S. C. (2010). Advantaged group members' reactions to tokenism. Group Process and Intergroup Relations, 13, 559-569.
  • Schmitt, M. T., Davies, K., Hung, M., & Wright, S. C. (2010). Identity moderates the effects of Christmas displays on mood, inclusion, and self-esteem. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 1017-1022.
  • Tropp, L. R., Stout, A. M., Boatswain, C., Wright, S. C., & Pettigrew, T. F. (2006). Trust and acceptance in response to references to group membership: Minority and majority perspectives on cross-group interactions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 36, 769-794.
  • Wright, S. C. (2009). The next generation of collective action research. Journal of Social Issues, 65, 859-879.
  • Wright, S. C. (1997). Ambiguity, social influence, and collective action: Generating collective protest in response to tokenism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 1277-1290.
  • Wright, S. C., Aron, A., McLaughlin, T., & Ropp, S. A. (1997). The extended contact effect: Knowledge of cross-group friendships and prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 73-90.
  • Wright, S. C., & Taylor, D. M. (1995). Identity and the language of the classroom: Investigating the impact of heritage versus second language instruction on personal and collective self-esteem. Journal of Educational Psychology, 87, 241-252.
  • Wright, S. C., Taylor, D. M., & MacArthur J. (2000). Subtractive bilingualism and the survival of the Inuit language: Heritage versus second language education. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 63-84.
  • Wright, S. C., Taylor, D. M., & Moghaddam, F. M. (1990). Responding to membership in a disadvantaged group: From acceptance to collective protest. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 994-1003.

Other Publications:

  • Wright, S. C. (2001). Strategic collective action: Social psychology and social change. In R. Brown & S. Gaertner (Eds.), Intergroup processes: Blackwell handbook of social psychology (Vol. 4). Blackwell Press.
  • Wright, S. C., & Baray, G. (2012). Models of social change in social psychology: Collective action or prejudice reduction, conflict or harmony. In John Dixon & Mark Levine (Eds.), Beyond prejudice: Extending the social psychology of intergroup conflict, inequality and social change (pp. 225-247). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.

Stephen Wright
Department of Psychology
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6

  • Phone: (778) 782-4342
  • Fax: (778) 782-3427

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