The role of reference group norms in self-regulation was examined from the perspective of transgressions. Results from four studies suggest that following the transgression of a reference group’s norms individuals who strongly identify with their group report more intense feelings of guilt, an emotion reflecting an inference that “bad” behaviors are perceived as the cause of the transgression.

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The current study examined whether the influence of social identification on effort exertion in identity-threatening situations could be altered through a prior engagement in an effortful task (i.e. regulatory resource depletion). One hundred university students took part in the study. The results revealed that under intergroup threat, higher social identification was associated with greater effort exertion. In contrast, under intragroup threat, lower social identification was associated...

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The children of immigrants are often referred to as second-generation youth. Although there is tremendous diversity among them, they often share the common experience of being bicultural by holding both heritage and mainstream cultural identities. Given that cultures generally promote similar expectations for youth (e.g., showing respect for parents), holding two cultural identities is not necessarily problematic.

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The current project investigated affective and strategic determinants of participation in collective actions by taking a multidimensional approach to collective identity (see Cameron, 2004) and investigating rational decision-making processes. A field study was conducted during an important student strike within the Canadian province of Quebec in 2005. One-hundred-and-eighty-four students attending the provinces’ postsecondary francophone institutions participated in the study. Path modeling...

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About me

I am an assistant professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Guelph (Guelph, ON, Canada). Broadly speaking, I conduct research that aims to further our understanding of the role of socio-cultural influences on human motivation and behavior, particularly in the contexts of health-related behaviors, immigration and biculturalism, as well as social conflicts.

For the most part, my research examines: (a) some of the cognitive processes through which individuals derive identities and norms from socio-cultural groups, (b) the impact of group membership on human motivation, particularly with regards to the acquisition and maintenance of undesired behaviors and involvement in intergroup conflicts, and (c) approaches to change group processes that foster social dysfunction.

These interests have led to projects illustrating the powerful influence of socio-cultural groups on a range of behaviors (e.g., binge drinking, addictive-impulsive behaviours, physical activity, procrastination, political demonstration) and on psychological well-being (e.g., self-esteem, life satisfaction, social anxiety).

Some of my current work examines: (a) the impact on self-regulation of aversive social emotions (e.g., guilt, pride) stemming from the transgression of social norms, (b) the influence of social outcomes on undesired behaviors, particularly those pertaining to social affiliation and exclusion and (c) norm based interventions, such as social marketing campaigns, to change group processes that hamper health.