My primary program of research focuses on social identity processes and how threat from important social categories, like race, gender, sexual orientation, or chronic illness, can affect cognitive, affective, and physiological processes over time. In particular, I take a “core needs” approach, viewing social identity threat as undermining psychological needs to belong and have control over important outcomes. This provides an explanation for how complex societal factors, such as stereotypes about groups, can “get under the skin” to affect performance, well-being, and health. My research also seeks to develop and test psychological interventions to reduce identity threat or mitigate its consequences. I also maintain a secondary program of research that investigates the psychological impact of technology and technological change, which is an area I am interested in exploring further.
My philosophy as a researcher is interdisciplinary. I believe that psychological and behavioral processes are best understood in the context of the mutually interacting embedded social systems in which people live. I use a variety of methods, including experiments in the lab and field and momentary or daily assessments over time. Many of my projects have a longitudinal aspect. To better understand the complex data sets emerging from my research, I have developed an interest in quantitative methods and statistical modeling.
Park, H. J., Ruberton, P. M., Smyth, J. M., Cohen, G. L., Purdie-Greenaway, V., & Cook, J. E. (2022). Lower SES PhD students experience interpersonal disconnection from others both inside and outside of academia. Journal of Social Issues, 1-29.
Cook, J. E., Salter, A., & Stadler, G. (2017). Identity concealment and chronic illness: A strategic choice. Journal of Social Issues, 73(2), 359-378
Pasek, M. H., Filip-Crawford, G., & Cook, J. E. (2017). Identity concealment and social change: Balancing advocacy goals against individual needs. Journal of Social Issues, 73(2), 397-412.
Powers, J., Cook, J. E., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Garcia, J., Apfel, N., & Cohen, G. L. (2016). Changing environments by changing individuals: The emergent effects of psychological intervention. Psychological Science, 27(2), 150-160.
Cook, J. E., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Meyer, I. H., & Busch, J. T. A. (2014). Intervening within and across levels: A multilevel approach to stigma and public health. Social Science & Medicine, 103, 101-109.
Cook, J. E., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Garcia, J., & Cohen, G. L. (2012). Chronic threat and contingent belonging: Protective benefits of values affirmation on identity development. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(3), 479-496.
Cook, J. E., Calcagno, J., Arrow, H., & Malle, B. F. (2012). Friendship trumps ethnicity (but not sexual orientation): Comfort and discomfort in intergroup interactions. British Journal of Social Psychology, 51(2), 273-289.
Cook, J. E., Arrow, H., & Malle, B. F. (2011). The effect of feeling stereotyped on social power and inhibition. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(2), 165-180.