Ph.D., 2007, University of California, Los Angeles
Research Areas: Social Psychology
My work examines how group identities (e.g., ethnicity, nationality) and group-based power asymmetries (e.g., high vs. low group status) influence group relations (see Tropp & Molina, 2012). My research considers the tension between national unity and diversity. Using multiple methods and diverse samples, I have tested theory-based hypotheses concerning 1) ethnic group differences on levels of national identification (e.g., Staerkle, Sidanius, Green, & Molina, 2010), 2) the role that constructions of national identity (e.g., America=White) have on attitudes toward immigration policy (e.g., Mukherjee, Molina, & Adams, 2013), and 3) the effects of recognition of valued subgroup identities on identifying with the superordinate group (e.g., nation; see Huo & Molina, 2006; Molina, Phillips, & Sidanius, 2014).
A large portion of my research has emphasized a psychology of the dominant and a psychology of the subordinate (Martin-Baro, 1994; Sidanius & Pratto, 1999) across constructs of national identity, respect, immigration, and contact conditions (e.g., Molina & Wittig, 2006; Molina, Wittig, & Giang, 2004). Because of this interest, I have made an effort to collect data from ethnic/racial majority and minority groups in the U.S. This has resulted in conducting “full circle” intergroup relations research that includes the voices of those at the center and at the margins of society. Rather than exclusively examining Whites’ perceptions of ethnic/racial minority groups or discrimination, the lens is turned and these same events are examined from the perspective of the individuals who are the targets of discrimination.
Molina, L. E., Phillips, N., & Sidanius, J. (in press). National and ethnic identity in the face of discrimination: Ethnic minority and majority perspectives. In Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.
Rothschild, Z. K., Landau, M. J., Molina, L. E., Branscombe, N. R., & Sullivan, D. (2013). Scapegoating to reduce collective guilt for ingroup harm-doing induces moral outrage. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 898-906.
Mukherjee, S., Molina, L. E., & Adams, G. (2013). “Reasonable suspicion” about tough immigration legislation: Enforcing laws or racial domination. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 19 (3), 320-331.
Tropp, L., & Molina, L. E. (2012). Intergroup processes: From prejudice to positive relations between groups. In Oxford Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology (edited by Kay Deaux and Mark Snyder).
Mukherjee, S., Molina, L. E., & Adams, G. A. (2011). Support for immigration policy: Racism or concern for legality? Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 12, 21-32.
Navarrete, C. D., McDonald, M. M., Molina, L. E., & Sidanius, J. (2010). Prejudice at the nexus of race and gender: An outgroup male target hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98, 933-945.
Staerkle, C., Sidanius, J., Green, E., & Molina, L. E. (2010). Ethnic minority-majority asymmetry in national attitudes around the world. Political Psychology, 31, 491-519.
Huo, Y. J., Binning, K. R., & Molina, L. E. (2010). Testing an integrative model of respect: Implications for social engagement and well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36 (2), 200-212.
Binning, K. R., Unzueta, M. M., Huo, Y. J., & Molina, L. E. (2009). The Interpretation of multiracial status and its relation to social engagement and psychological well-being. Journal of Social Issues, 65 (1), 35-49.
Huo, Y. J., & Molina, L. E. (2006). Is pluralism a viable model of diversity? The benefits and limits of subgroup respect. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 9 (3), 359-376.
Molina, L. E., & Wittig, M. A. (2006). Relative importance of contact conditions in explaining prejudice reduction in a classroom context: Separate and equal? Journal of Social Issues, 62 (3), 489-509.
Rogers, M. R., & Molina, L. E. (2006). Exemplary efforts in psychology to recruit and retain students of color. American Psychologist, 61 (2), 143-156.
Molina, L. E., Wittig, M. A., & Giang, M. T. (2004). Mutual acculturation and social categorization: A comparison of two perspectives on intergroup bias. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 7 (3), 239-265.