PhD student in Psychology
Award-winning publication: Investigating the motivations underlying harmful social behaviors and the motivational nature of social norms
Published in: Journal of Applied Social Psychology, October 2013
"The article demonstrates how belonging to a group with norms that support or reject a behavior recognized as negative (e.g. discrimination) impacts the motivations towards the behavior. To carry out the research, we relied on the theories of social influence and self-determination to negative actions. The findings contribute to the field of social psychology by accounting for the social influence of an identity group in justifying negative behaviors. The results therefore highlight the significance of individual and group variables in the undertaking of behaviors with negative social impacts."
Sophie Sansfaçon's research is innovative in its integration of two longstanding theories in social psychology: self-determination theory and its applications to social identity theory. Her study explores the widespread issue of belonging to a group whose norms incite negative behaviors. Considering the harmful impacts of such behaviors, Sophie Sansfaçon and her team aimed to pinpoint the personal motivations from which the actions stem. Not only does her work elucidate negative behaviors such as discrimination, it also serves to limit their occurrence.