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Psychology hosts discussion on epistemological assumptions in behavioral psychology

Crosby will be discussing her sabbatical, during which she traveled the world reflecting on her life’s work and the work that remains in social justice.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Department of Psychology is pleased to present a colloquium and discussion with Faye Crosby, Ph.D. on Friday, September 22 at 10 a.m. in IUPUI Campus Center room 450B. The colloquium, “Rigor or Rigor Mortis: My growing unease with the epistemological assumptions underlying the social and behavioral sciences,” will address epistemological assumptions prevalent in social psychology and other areas in the social and behavioral sciences, as well as describe why these assumptions may be problematic. 

Crosby will be discussing her sabbatical, during which she traveled the world reflecting on her life’s work and the work that remains in social justice. Crosby is a social psychologist specializing in social justice. Her work investigates the bases of people’s reactions to affirmative action and has launched new studies on how people can undertake non-revolution changes through rules, mentoring and enhancing the peaceful evolution of work organizations. 

Throughout her career, Crosby has been interested in the relation between objective and subjective reality; she has looked at individual attitudes in the context of social change and stability. While testing the theory of relative deprivation, Crosby discovered a phenomenon entitled “the denial of personal disadvantage.” She found that people typically imagine themselves to be exempt from the injustices that they can recognize as affecting their membership or reference groups. One area of her research documents the cognitive and motivational bases of the denial of personal disadvantage.

Crosby received her doctorate in social psychology at Boston University.  Since 1997, Crosby has been Professor of Psychology at University of California, Santa Cruz. Previous faculty appointments included Rhode Island College, Yale University, The Kellogg School of Management and Smith College. Crosby has authored or co-authored five books and is the founder of Nag’s Heart, an organization whose mission is to replenish of the feminist spirit. 


The School of Science at IUPUI is committed to excellence in teaching, research and service in the biological, physical, computational, behavioral and mathematical sciences. The School is dedicated to being a leading resource for interdisciplinary research and science education in support of Indiana's effort to expand and diversify its economy.

(Written by: Cindy Fox Aisen)

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