Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Craig McGarty

Craig McGarty

My primary research interest is in the process of categorization as it relates to social behaviour. Categorization is the psychological process involved in breaking things into groups, and is often seen as a sense-making process. Categorization has attracted a lot of interest from social psychologists because it is implicated in the ways in which people perceive themselves and other people as members of social groups. The particular idea that I have pursued for some time is that categorization is itself a social psychological process. By this I mean not only that the content of our categories is shared with other people, but the way we go about categorizing things is profoundly affected by the social context, and in particular that we come to categorize things in the same way as do relevant other people. Much of my thinking on categorization is presented in my book Categorization in Social Psychology.

More recently my work has focused on social change, group-based emotion, and collective action as expressed in online and offline settings.

I am editing a Special Section of the Journal of Social and Political Psychology "20 Years after Genocide: Psychology’s Engagement with Reconciliation and Reconstruction in Rwanda".

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Communication, Language
  • Group Processes
  • Internet and Virtual Psychology
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Research Methods, Assessment
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition


Journal Articles:

  • Berndsen, M., & McGarty, C. (2012). Perspective taking and opinions about forms of reparation for victims of historical harm. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 1316-1328.
  • Berndsen, M., & McGarty, C. (2010). The impact of magnitude of harm and perceived difficulty of making reparations on group-based guilt and reparation towards victims of historical harm. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 500-513.
  • Berndsen, M., Spears, R., McGarty, C., & van der Pligt, J. (1998). The dynamics of differentiation: Similarity as a precursor and product of stereotype formation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1451-1463.
  • Bliuc, A.-M., McGarty, C., Hartley, L. K., & Muntele, D. (2012). Manipulating national identity: The strategic use of rhetoric by supporters and opponents of the 'Cronulla riots' in Australia. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 35, 2174-2194.
  • Gee, A., & McGarty, C. (2013). Aspirations for a cooperative community and support for mental health advocacy: A shared orientation through opinion-based group membership. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43 (S2), E426-E441.
  • McGarty, C., Bliuc, A.-M, Thomas, E. F., & Bongiorno, R. T. (2009). Collective action as the material expression of opinion-based group membership. Journal of Social Issues, 65, 839-857.
  • Musgrove, L., & McGarty, C. (2008). Opinion-based group membership and the War on Terror. Social Psychology, 39, 37-47.
  • O’Brien, L., & McGarty, C. (2009). Political disagreement in intergroup terms: Contextual variation and the influence of inter- and intragroup status. British Journal of Social Psychology, 48, 77-98.
  • Pedersen, A., Dunn, K., Forrest, J., & McGarty, C. (2012). Prejudice and discrimination from two sides: How do middle-eastern Australians experience it and how do other Australians explain it? Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology, 6, 18-26.
  • Thomas, E. F., Mavor, K. I., & McGarty, C. (2012). Social identities facilitate and encapsulate action-relevant constructs: A test of the social identity model of collective action. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 15, 75-88.
  • Thomas, E. F., & McGarty, C. (2009). The role of efficacy and moral outrage norms in creating the potential for international development activism through group-based interaction. British Journal of Social Psychology, 48, 115-134.
  • Thomas, E. F., McGarty, C., & Mavor, K. I. (2010). The social psychology of ‘Making Poverty History’: Motivating anti-poverty action in Australia. Australian Psychologist, 45, 4-15.
  • Thomas, E. F., McGarty, C., & Mavor, K. I. (2009). Aligning identities, emotions and beliefs to create commitment to sustainable social and political action. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 13, 194-218.
  • Thomas, E. F., McGarty, C., & Mavor, K. I. (2009). Transforming "apathy into movement": The role of prosocial emotions in motivating action for social change. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 13, 310-333.
  • Thomas, E., McGarty, C., Louis, W., (2014), Social interaction and psychological pathways to political engagement and extremism. European Journal of Social Psychology, 44, 15 - 22.
  • de Castella, K., & McGarty, C. (2011). Two leaders, two wars: A psychological analysis of fear and anger content in political rhetoric about terrorism. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 11, 180-200.
  • de Castella, K., McGarty, C., & Musgrove, L. (2009). Fear arousing content in political rhetoric about terrorism: An analysis of speeches made by Australian Prime Minister John Howard. Political Psychology, 30, 1-26.

Courses Taught:

  • Honours: Experimental Statistics Stream
  • Special Topics in Psychology
  • The Social Psychology of Groups and Organisations

Craig McGarty
School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Penrith 2751

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