Faculty Profile

Donna Garcia

Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Kansas
Specialty: Social Psychology
Program Affiliation: General Experimental Psychology

Contact Information:


Research Interests:

My research focuses on the self-perpetuating nature of social inequality via its effects on human functioning (e.g., motivation, achievement, self-regulation, and psychological and physiological well-being). Specifically, I am interested in the impact that inequality has on psychological and social processes, which in turn impair the successful functioning of low status group members (e.g., Women or Hispanic and African Americans) but often enhance the functioning of those from high status groups (e.g., Men and European Americans). My study of the effects of social inequality involves three related areas: (1) Why and how social inequality affects human functioning, (2) the social pressures that discourage people from challenging discrimination, and (3) the self-fulfilling role that awareness of their “social value” plays in people’s outcomes.

My teaching interests include social psychology, health psychology, and research methods in social psychology.

Research Awards:

Research Infrastructure in Minority Institution Program Fellow 1P20MD002722, National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, Period of Funding: September, 2010 – August, 2011.

Faculty Professional Development Mini-Grant – The Likelihood and Psychological Consequences of Claiming Discrimination: The Role of Perceived Common Fate. California State University, San Bernardino, April, 2010

CO-PI: National Science Foundation. (November 1, 2009 – October 31, 2012). Collaborative research: A cultural-psychological analysis of gender discrimination (and privilege) in STEM fields. PIs: Laurie O’Brien; Co-PIs: Donna Garcia, Glenn Adams, and Elliott Hammer.
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (Successful Societies Group). 

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, 2006–2008.

Doctoral Fellowship, Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, 2002–2005.

Howard Baumgartel Peace and Justice Dissertation Research Award, University of Kansas, 2005.

Jack Brehm Basic Research Fund Summer Fellowship, 2004.

Representative Publications:

O’Brien, L., Garcia, D.M., Kordys, J., & Crandall, C. S. (In Press) White American’s objections to affirmative action: Group interest and the harm to beneficiaries argument. British Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 733-745.

Garcia, D. M., Schmitt, M. T., Branscombe, N. R., & Ellemers, N. (2010). Women’s reactions to ingroup members who protest discriminatory treatment: The importance of beliefs about inequality and response appropriateness. European Journal of Social Psychology.

Jackson, L. M., & Garcia, D. M. (2010). Endorsement of group change and organization change affirmative action programs for male and female beneficiaries. Sex Roles,63, 239-250.

Outten, H. R., Schmitt, M. T., Garcia, D. M., & Branscombe, N. R. (2009). Coping options: Missing links between minority group identification and psychological well-being. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 58, 146-170.

Adams, G., Fryberg, S., Garcia, D. M., & Delgado-Torres (2006). The psychology of engagement with First Nations ethnicities: A cultural perspective. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 12, 493-508.

Schmitt, M. T., Branscombe, N. R., Silvia, P. J., Garcia, D. M., & Spears, R. (2006). Categorizing at the group-level in response to intragroup social comparisons: A self-categorization theory integration of self-evaluation and social identity motives. European Journal of Social Psychology, 36, 297-314.

Adams, G., Garcia, D. M., Purdie-Vaughns, V., & Steele, C. M. (2006). The detrimental effects of a suggestion of sexism in an instruction situation. Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology, 42, 602-615.

Garcia, D. M., Desmarais, S., Branscombe, N. R., & Gee, S. S. (2005). Opposition to redistributive employment policies for women: The role of policy experience and group interest. British Journal of Social Psychology, 44, 583-602.

Garcia, D. M., Horstman Reser, A., Amo, R., Redersdorff, S., & Branscombe, N. R. (2005). Perceivers’ responses to in-group and out-group members who blame a negative outcome on discrimination. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 769-780.

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