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Benjamin A. Saunders, Ph.D.
- Assistant Professor

Ph.D. in Social Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2008

Theoretical Interests: Social identity, optimal distinctiveness theory, social categorization, self-affirmation, stereotype threat, contingency theory of justice reasoning.

Research Interests: In-group dynamics, racial stereotypes and prejudice, racial identity, self-worth contingencies, academic identity and achievement, social justice, morality, entitlement and fairness reasoning, political tolerance.


Dr. Saunders recently completed his doctoral work in Social Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was raised in the Chicago-area and received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan.

He has recently presented papers and posters at both regional and national conferences in psychology, including the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, The Association for Psychological Science, and the Midwestern Psychological Association, to name a few.

His dissertation research examined whether people are socially rejected for behaving in positive-but-counter-stereotypical ways, and what implications these results may have for discourse on the racial academic achievement gap.


Skitka, L. J., Saunders, B. A., Morgan, G. S., & Wisneski, D. C. (in press). Dark clouds and silver linings: Socio-psychological responses to September 11, 2001. In M. J. Morgan (Ed.) The day that changed everything? Looking at the impact of 9-11 at the end of the decade. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mattis, J. S., Beckham, W., Saunders, B. A., Williams, J., McAllister, D., Myers, V., Knight, D., Rencher, D., & Dixon, C. (2004). Who will volunteer? Religiosity, everyday racism and social participation among African American men. Journal of Adult Development, 11, 261-272.

Posters & Presentations:

Saunders, B. A. (2008, February). Stereotype threat and academic disengagement: The role of self-worth contingencies. Poster session presented at the 9th annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Albuquerque, NM.

Saunders, B. A., & Skitka, L. J. (2007, January). Too contrary for comfort? When in-group members display positive but prototypically out-group behavior. Poster session presented at the 8th annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Memphis, TN.

Saunders, B. A., & Skitka, L. J. (2006, May). The Impact of Affirmations on Political Tolerance. Poster session presented at the 18th annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, New York, NY.

Saunders, B. A. (2005, May). Exploring Potential Moderators of Stereotype Threat: The Role of Academic Identity. Symposium conducted at the 76th annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.


Long Island University

Brooklyn Campus

Psychology Department