University of Pittsburgh

Kevin R. Binning, Ph. D. ill_1

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Download CV


We spend immense effort trying to understand why people do the things they do. Why didn’t I get invited to the party? Why do Republicans and Democrats feel so righteous about their beliefs? Why didn't my student study for an upcoming exam? Social psychologists such as myself seek general answers to the questions of why people do the things that they do. Using formal methods of inquiry such as experimentation and longitudinal observation, my colleagues and I aim to understand people’s experience with the aim to change that experience in socially constructive ways.

My research has a particular focus on contemporary societal problems in domains such as education, politics, and health. Through all of my work runs the idea that people’s membership in particular groups (e.g., “Democrat” or “new college student”) makes part of their experience predictable. By understanding the psychological causes of important human problems, it may be possible to improve those problems via social psychological interventions.
Binning, K. R., Wang, M. T., & Amemiya, J. (2018). Persistence mindset among adolescents: Who benefits from the message that academic struggles are normal and temporary? Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Vincent-Ruz, P., Binning, K. R., Grabowski, J., & Schunn, C. D. (2018). The effect of math SAT on women’s chemistry competency beliefs. Chemistry Education Research and Practice.

Badea, C., Binning, K. R., Verlhiac, J. F., & Sherman, D. K. (2018). In the aftermath of terrorism: Effects of self- versus group-affirmation on support for discriminatory policies. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Goyer, J. P., Garcia, J., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Binning, K. R., Cook, J. E., Reeves, S. J., Apfel, N., Taborsky-Barba, S., Sherman, D. K., & Cohen, G. L. (2017). Self-affirmation facilitates minority middle schoolers' progress along college trajectories. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1073/pnas.1617923114

Binning, K. R., Brick, C., Cohen, G. L., & Sherman, D. K. (2015). Going along versus getting it right: The role of self-integrity in political conformity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 56, 73-88.

Binning, K. R., & Sears, D. O. (2015). On the history of political diversity in social psychology (Commentary). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38, 18-19.

Huo, Y. J., Binning, K. R., & Begeny, C. T. (2015). Respect and the viability of ethnically diverse institutions. In S. Otten, K. I. Van der Zee, and M. B. Brewer (Eds.), Towards inclusive organizations: Determinants of successful diversity management at work (pp. 49-66). Hove, UK: Psychology Press.

Margolis, J., Goode, J., & Binning, K. R. (2015). Expanding the pipeline: Active learning for broadening participation in computing. Computing Research News, 27.

Sherman, D. K., Hartson, K. A., Binning, K. R., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Garcia, J., Taborsky-Barba, S., Tomassetti, S., Nussbaum, A. D., & Cohen, G. L. (2013). Deflecting the trajectory and changing the narrative: How self-affirmation affects academic performance and motivation under identity threat. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/a0031495 Download PDF

Binning, K. R., & Unzueta, M. M. (2013). Perceiving ethnic diversity on campus: Group differences in attention to hierarchical representation. Social and Personality Psychology Science. DOI: 10.1177/1948550612459771 Download PDF

Binning, K. R., & Huo, Y. J. (2012). Understanding status as a social resource. In K. Tornblom and A. Kazemi (Eds.), Handbook of Social Resource Theory, (pp. 133-147). New York: Springer. Download PDF

Unzueta, M. M., & Binning, K. R. (2012). Diversity is in the eye of the beholder: How concern for the ingroup affects perceptions of organizational diversity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 26-38. Download PDF

Binning, K. R., & Sherman, D. K. (2011). Categorization and communication in the face of prejudice: When describing perceptions changes what is perceived. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 321-336. Download PDF

Binning, K. R., Sherman, D. K., Cohen, G. L., & Heitland, K. (2010). Seeing the other side: Reducing political partisanship via self-affirmation in the 2008 presidential election. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 10, 276-292. Abstract Download PDF

Huo, Y. J., Binning, K. R., & Molina, L. E. (2010). Testing an integrative model of respect: Implications for social engagement and well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 200-212. Abstract Download PDF

Huo, Y. J., Molina, L. E., Binning, K. R., Funge, S. (2010). Subgroup respect, social engagement, and well-being: A field study of an ethnically diverse high school. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16, 427-436. Download PDF

Unzueta, M. M., & Binning, K. R. (2010) Which racial groups are associated with diversity? Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16, 443-446. Download PDF

Huo, Y. J., Binning, K. R., & Molina, L. E. (2010). The interplay between fairness and the experience of respect: Implications for group life. In B. Mannix, M. Neale, & E. Mullen (Eds.), Research on Managing Groups and Teams: Fairness in Groups (Vol. 13; pp. 95-120.). Bingley, UK: Emerald. Abstract

Binning, K. R., Unzueta, M. M., Huo, Y. J., & Molina, L. E. (2009). The interpretation of multiracial status and its relation to social engagement and psychological well-being. Journal of Social Issues, 65, 35-49. Abstract Download PDF

Huo, Y. J., & Binning, K. R. (2008). Why the psychological experience of respect matters in group life: An integrative account. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2, 1570-1585. Abstract Download PDF

Binning, K. R. (2007). "It's us against the world": How distrust in Americans versus people-in-general shapes competitive foreign policy preferences. Political Psychology, 28, 777-799. Abstract Download PDF

*Note: Papers are copyrighted material and may be downloaded for personal use only.