Robb Willer

Robb Willer
Professor (by courtesy), Organizational Behavior
Contact Info
RobbWiller
Professor of Sociology, School of Humanities and Sciences
Academic Area: 
Organizational Behavior

Research Interests

  • Morality
  • Politics
  • Generosity
  • Status
  • Masculinity

Bio

Robb Willer is a Professor in the Departments of Sociology, Psychology (by courtesy), and the Graduate School of Business (by courtesy) at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from Cornell University and his B.A. in Sociology from the University of Iowa. He previously taught at the University of California, Berkeley.

Professor Willer’s teaching and research focus on the bases of social order. One line of his research investigates the factors driving the emergence of collective action, norms, solidarity, generosity, and status hierarchies. In other research, he explores the social psychology of political attitudes, including the effects of fear, prejudice, and masculinity in contemporary U.S. politics. Most recently, his work has focused on morality, studying how people reason about what is right and wrong and the social consequences of their judgments. His research involves various empirical and theoretical methods, including laboratory and field experiments, surveys, direct observation, archival research, physiological measurement, agent-based modeling, and social network analysis.

Willer’s research has appeared in such journals as American Sociology Review, American Journal of Sociology, Annual Review of Sociology, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Proceedings of the Royal Society B:Biological Sciences,and Social Networks.He has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. His work has received paper awards from the American Sociological Association’s sections on Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity, Mathematical Sociology, Peace, War, and Social Conflict, and Rationality and Society.

His research has also received widespread media coverage including from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, Science, Nature, Time, U.S. News and World Report, Scientific American, Harper’s, Slate, CNN, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, and National Public Radio.

Willer was the 2009 recipient of the Golden Apple Teaching award, the only teaching award given by UC-Berkeley’s student body.

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., Sociology, Cornell University, 2006
  • M.A., Cornell University, 2004
  • B.A., University of Iowa, 1999
  • Director, Laboratory for Social Research, University of California Berkeley, 2006-13
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Psychology (by courtesy) and Cognitive Sciences (affiliated faculty), University of California Berkeley, 2006-12

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Sociology, Stanford University
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, 2012-13
  • Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California Berkeley, 2012-13
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Economics and Social Psychology, University of Cologne Germany, 2011

Publications

Journal Articles

Andrei Boutyline, Robb Willer. Political Psychology. June 2017, Vol. 38, Issue 3, Pages 551-569.
Gavin J. Kilduff, Robb Willer, Camerson Anderson. Organization SCience. March 18, 2016, Vol. 27, Issue 2, Pages 373-390.
Jojanneke van der Toorn, Matthew Feinberg, John T. Jost, Aaron C. Kay, Tom R. Tyler, Robb Willer, Caroline Wilmuth. Political Psychology. February 2015, Vol. 36, Issue 1, Pages 93-110.
Matthew Feinberg, Robb Willer, Michael Schultz. Psychological Science. March 2014, Vol. 25, Issue 3, Pages 656-664.
Robb Willer, Francis J. Flynn, Sonya Zak. Administrative Science Quarterly. May 9, 2012, Vol. 57, Issue 1, Pages 119-155.

Working Papers

Threats to Racial Status Promote Tea Party Support Among White Americans | PDF
Robb Willer, Matthew Feinberg, Rachel Wetts, May 42016

Stanford University Affiliations

Greater Stanford University

Insights by Stanford Business

April 10, 2017
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December 19, 2016
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December 12, 2016
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July 15, 2016
New research explores the link between racial animosity and the Tea Party movement.
February 1, 2016
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November 16, 2015
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April 23, 2015
Researchers find that feeling powerless can lead people to support systems that disadvantage them.