Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Faye Crosby

Faye Crosby

Faye Crosby is a social psychologist specializing in social justice. She is interested in the relation between objective (i.e., consensual) and subjective reality; she has looked at individual attitudes in the context of social change and stability.

While testing the theory of relative deprivation, Crosby discovered a phenomenon entitled "the denial of personal disadvantage." Crosby found that people typically imagine themselves to be exempt from the injustices that they can recognize as affecting their membership or reference groups. One line of her research documents the cognitive and motivational bases of the denial of personal disadvantage.

Given how widespread is the denial of personal disadvantage, organizations need to avert unrest through monitoring and other proactive systems like affirmative action. Yet affirmative action is very controversial. Crosby's current work investigates the bases of people's reactions to affirmative action. She is now using her affirmative action work to launch a new series of studies on how people can undertake non-revolutionary changes in rules that come to be revealed as unfair. She is also examining other ways, such as mentoring, of enhancing the peaceful evolution of work organizations.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Gender Psychology
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Political Psychology
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping


Journal Articles:

  • Crosby, F. J., & Franco, J. (2003). The ivory tower and the multicultural world. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 7, 362-373.
  • Crosby, F. J., Iyer, A., Clayton, S., & Downing, R. (2003). Affirmative action: Psychological data and the policy debates. American Psychologist, 58, 93-115.
  • Iyer, A., Leach, C. W., & Crosby, F. J. (2003). White guilt and racial compensation: The benefits and limits of self focus. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 117-129.
  • Sabattini, L., & Crosby, F. J. (2003). Problematizing problems. Feminism and Psychology, 13, 265-273.
  • Skitka, L. J., & Crosby, F. J. (2003). Trends in the social psychological study of justice. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 7, 282-285.

Other Publications:

  • Crosby, F. J., & Blake-Beard, S. (2004). Affirmative action: Diversity, merit, and the benefit of white people. In M. Fine, L. Weis, L. C. Powell, & L. M. Wong (Eds.), Off White: Readings on Race, Power, and Society (2nd ed., pp. 146-160). New York: Routledge.
  • Lubensky, M. E., Holland, S. L., Wiethoff, C. M., & Crosby, F. J. (2004). Diversity and sexual orientation: Including and valuing sexual minorities in the workplace. In M. S. Stockdale and F. J. Crosby (Eds.), The Psychology and Management of Workplace Diversity (pp. 206-223). Boston, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Courses Taught:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Research Methods
  • Small Groups
  • Social Psychology of Social Justice

Faye Crosby
Department of Psychology
Room 378, Social Sciences 2
University of California
Santa Cruz, California 95064
United States of America

  • Phone: (831) 459-3568

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