Benoît Monin received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton University, after earning an M.Sc. in Social Psychology at the London School of Economics. He completed his undergraduate studies at ESSEC, a business school near Paris, and at the Lycée Privé Sainte Geneviève, in Versailles. Monin joined the Stanford Department of Psychology in 2001, and since 2008 he has held appointments both in psychology and in the Organizational Behavior area at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Monin's research investigates the motivational aspects of ethics, and in particular how most people's desire to retain a positive self-image as a good, moral person affects behavior and social perception in counterintuitive ways. Monin teaches Critical Analytical Thinking and Ethics and Management to Stanford MBAs, and statistics and research methods for incoming PhD students. He received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching, and has held visiting positions at the University of Michigan and at the University of Paris 10. He served as an associate editor for the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and his work has appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Psychological Science, and the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Ph.D., Princeton University, Psychology (2002)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

My research deals with how people address threats to the self in interpersonal situations: How they avoid feeling prejudiced, how they construe other people's behavior to make to their own look good, how they deal with dissonance, how they affirm a threatened identity, how they resent the goodness of others when it makes them look bad, etc. I study these issues in the context of social norms, the self, and morality, broadly defined.

2023-24 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • Healthier Than Thou? "Practicing What You Preach" Backfires by Increasing Anticipated Devaluation JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Howe, L. C., Monin, B. 2017; 112 (5): 718-735


    [Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 112(5) of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (see record 2017-17124-001). In the article, the beginning phrase of the second paragraph of the Internal Meta-Analysis of Studies 3 Through 5 section is incorrect. It should instead begin as follows: Across the three studies. The Monin et al. (2014) reference in both the References list and in text is included in error. The correct citation should read as follows: Monin, B., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2014). The limits of direct replications and the virtues of stimulus sampling: Commentary on Klein et al., 2014. Social Psychology, 45, 299-300.] Should experts always practice what they preach? When an expert displays exemplary behavior, individuals who fear negative devaluation sometimes anticipate that this expert will look down on them. As a result, displays of excellence can paradoxically turn off the very people they are trying to inspire. Five studies document this in the medical domain, showing that individuals who are overweight or obese and concerned about their weight avoid physicians who advertise their fitness, for fear that these doctors will judge them negatively. People (erroneously) believe that doctors have healthier habits than other individuals (Study 1), doctors advertise healthy habits (Study 2), and overweight individuals anticipate devaluation from, and thus avoid and feel less comfortable with, doctors who portray themselves as fitness-focused (Study 3). Studies 4 and 5 test strategies for physicians to emphasize their own fitness without turning off weight-sensitive patients. This work demonstrates that it is critical to take into account ego-defensive processes when attempting to lead by example. (PsycINFO Database Record

    View details for DOI 10.1037/pspi0000085

    View details for Web of Science ID 000399744600004

    View details for PubMedID 28240939

  • Consistency Versus Licensing Effects of Past Moral Behavior ANNUAL REVIEW OF PSYCHOLOGY, VOL 67 Mullen, E., Monin, B. 2016; 67: 363-?
  • Moral Self-Licensing: When Being Good Frees Us to Be Bad SOCIAL AND PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY COMPASS Merritt, A. C., Effron, D. A., Monin, B. 2010; 4 (5): 344–57
  • The rejection of moral rebels: Resenting those who do the right thing JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Monin, B., Sawyer, P. J., Marquez, M. J. 2008; 95 (1): 76-93


    Four studies document the rejection of moral rebels. In Study 1, participants who made a counterattitudinal speech disliked a person who refused on principle to do so, but uninvolved observers preferred this rebel to an obedient other. In Study 2, participants taking part in a racist task disliked a rebel who refused to go along, but mere observers did not. This rejection was mediated by the perception that rebels would reject obedient participants (Study 3), but did not occur when participants described an important trait or value beforehand (Study 4). Together, these studies suggest that rebels are resented when their implicit reproach threatens the positive self-image of individuals who did not rebel.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/0022-3514.95.1.76

    View details for Web of Science ID 000257034000006

    View details for PubMedID 18605853

  • The AI Effect: People rate distinctively human attributes as more essential to being human after learning about artificial intelligence advances JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Santoro, E., Monin, B. 2023; 107
  • The confronter's quandary: Mapping out strategies for managers to address offensive remarks at work RESEARCH IN ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR Fa-Kaji, N. M., Monin, B. 2022; 42
  • A many-analysts approach to the relation between religiosity and well-being RELIGION BRAIN & BEHAVIOR Hoogeveen, S., Sarafoglou, A., Aczel, B., Aditya, Y., Alayan, A. J., Allen, P. J., Altay, S., Alzahawi, S., Amir, Y., Anthony, F., Appiah, O., Atkinson, Q. D., Baimel, A., Balkaya-Ince, M., Balsamo, M., Banker, S., Bartos, F., Becerra, M., Beffara, B., Beitner, J., Bendixen, T., Berkessel, J. B., Berniunas, R., Billet, M., Billingsley, J., Bortolini, T., Breitsohl, H., Bret, A., Brown, F. L., Brown, J., Brumbaugh, C. C., Buczny, J., Bulbulia, J., Caballero, S., Carlucci, L., Carmichael, C. L., Cattaneo, M. G., Charles, S. J., Claessens, S., Panagopoulos, M. C., Costa, A., Crone, D. L., Czoschke, S., Czymara, C., D'Urso, E., Dahlstrom, O., Dalla Rosa, A., Danielsson, H., De Ron, J., de Vries, Y., Dean, K. K., Dik, B. J., Disabato, D. J., Doherty, J. K., Draws, T., Drouhot, L., Dujmovic, M., Dunham, Y., Ebert, T., Edelsbrunner, P. A., Eerland, A., Elbaek, C. T., Farahmand, S., Farahmand, H., Farias, M., Feliccia, A. A., Fischer, K., Fischer, R., Fisher-Thompson, D., Francis, Z., Frick, S., Frisch, L. K., Geraldes, D., Gerdin, E., Geven, L., Ghasemi, O., Gielens, E., Gligoric, V., Hagel, K., Hajdu, N., Hamilton, H. R., Hamzah, I., Hanel, P. P., Hawk, C. E., Himawan, K. K., Holding, B. C., Homman, L. E., Ingendahl, M., Inkila, H., Inman, M. L., Islam, C., Isler, O., Izydorczyk, D., Jaeger, B., Johnson, K. A., Jong, J., Karl, J. A., Kaszubowski, E., Katz, B. A., Keefer, L. A., Kelchtermans, S., Kelly, J. M., Klein, R. A., Kleinberg, B., Knowles, M. L., Kolczynska, M., Koller, D., Krasko, J., Kritzler, S., Krypotos, A., Kyritsis, T., Landes, T. L., Laukenmann, R., Forsyth, G., Lazar, A., Lehman, B. J., Levy, N., Lo, R. F., Lodder, P., Lorenz, J., Lowicki, P., Ly, A. L., Maassen, E., Magyar-Russell, G. M., Maier, M., Marsh, D. R., Martinez, N., Martinie, M., Martoyo, I., Mason, S. E., Mauritsen, A., McAleer, P., McCauley, T., McCullough, M., McKay, R., McMahon, C. M., McNamara, A. A., Means, K. K., Mercier, B., Mitkidis, P., Monin, B., Moon, J. W., Moreau, D., Morgan, J., Murphy, J., Muscatt, G., Nagel, C., Nagy, T., Nalborczyk, L., Nilsonne, G., Noack, P., Norenzayan, A., Nuijten, M. B., Olsson-Collentine, A., Oviedo, L., Pavlov, Y. G., Pawelski, J. O., Pearson, H., Pedder, H., Peetz, H. K., Pinus, M., Pirutinsky, S., Polito, V., Porubanova, M., Poulin, M. J., Prenoveau, J. M., Prince, M. A., Protzko, J., Pryor, C., Purzycki, B. G., Qiu, L., Putter, J., Rabelo, A., Radell, M. L., Ramsay, J. E., Reid, G., Roberts, A. J., Luna, L., Ross, R. M., Roszak, P., Roy, N., Saarelainen, S. K., Sasaki, J. Y., Schaumans, C., Schivinski, B., Schmitt, M. C., Schnitker, S. A., Schnuerch, M., Schreiner, M. R., Schuttengruber, V., Sebben, S., Segerstrom, S. C., Seryczynska, B., Shjoedt, U., Simsek, M., Sleegers, W. A., Smith, E. R., Sowden, W. J., Spath, M., Sporlein, C., Stedden, W., Stoevenbelt, A. H., Stuber, S., Sulik, J., Suwartono, C., Syropoulos, S., Szaszi, B., Szecsi, P., Tappin, B. M., Tay, L., Thibault, R. T., Thompson, B., Thurn, C. M., Torralba, J., Tuthill, S. D., Ullein, A., Van Aert, R. M., van Assen, M. M., Van Cappellen, P., van den Akker, O. R., Van der Cruyssen, I., Van der Noll, J., van Dongen, N. N., Van Lissa, C. J., van Mulukom, V., van Ravenzwaaij, D., van Zyl, C. J., Vaughn, L., Verschuere, B., Vianello, M., Vilanova, F., Vishkin, A., Vogel, V., Vogelsmeier, L. E., Watanabe, S., White, C. M., Wiebels, K., Wiechert, S., Willett, Z. Z., Witkowiak, M., Witvliet, C. O., Wiwad, D., Wuyts, R., Xygalatas, D., Yang, X., Yeo, D. J., Yilmaz, O., Zarzeczna, N., Zhao, Y., Zijlmans, J., van Elk, M., Wagenmakers, E. 2022
  • There is no psychology without inferential statistics. The Behavioral and brain sciences Alzahawi, S., Monin, B. 2022; 45: e2


    Quantification has been constitutive of psychology since its inception and is core to its scientific status. The adoption of qualitative methods eschewing inferential statistics is therefore unlikely to obtain. Rather than discarding useful tools because of improper use, we recommend highlighting how inferential statistics can be more thoughtfully applied.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/S0140525X2100056X

    View details for PubMedID 35139976

  • Crowdsourcing hypothesis tests: Making transparent how design choices shape research results. Psychological bulletin Landy, J. F., Jia, M. L., Ding, I. L., Viganola, D. n., Tierney, W. n., Dreber, A. n., Johannesson, M. n., Pfeiffer, T. n., Ebersole, C. R., Gronau, Q. F., Ly, A. n., van den Bergh, D. n., Marsman, M. n., Derks, K. n., Wagenmakers, E. J., Proctor, A. n., Bartels, D. M., Bauman, C. W., Brady, W. J., Cheung, F. n., Cimpian, A. n., Dohle, S. n., Donnellan, M. B., Hahn, A. n., Hall, M. P., Jiménez-Leal, W. n., Johnson, D. J., Lucas, R. E., Monin, B. n., Montealegre, A. n., Mullen, E. n., Pang, J. n., Ray, J. n., Reinero, D. A., Reynolds, J. n., Sowden, W. n., Storage, D. n., Su, R. n., Tworek, C. M., Van Bavel, J. J., Walco, D. n., Wills, J. n., Xu, X. n., Yam, K. C., Yang, X. n., Cunningham, W. A., Schweinsberg, M. n., Urwitz, M. n., Uhlmann, E. L. 2020


    To what extent are research results influenced by subjective decisions that scientists make as they design studies? Fifteen research teams independently designed studies to answer five original research questions related to moral judgments, negotiations, and implicit cognition. Participants from 2 separate large samples (total N > 15,000) were then randomly assigned to complete 1 version of each study. Effect sizes varied dramatically across different sets of materials designed to test the same hypothesis: Materials from different teams rendered statistically significant effects in opposite directions for 4 of 5 hypotheses, with the narrowest range in estimates being d = -0.37 to + 0.26. Meta-analysis and a Bayesian perspective on the results revealed overall support for 2 hypotheses and a lack of support for 3 hypotheses. Overall, practically none of the variability in effect sizes was attributable to the skill of the research team in designing materials, whereas considerable variability was attributable to the hypothesis being tested. In a forecasting survey, predictions of other scientists were significantly correlated with study results, both across and within hypotheses. Crowdsourced testing of research hypotheses helps reveal the true consistency of empirical support for a scientific claim. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/bul0000220

    View details for PubMedID 31944796

  • Outraged but Sympathetic: Ambivalent Emotions Limit the Influence of Viral Outrage SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE Sawaoka, T., Monin, B. 2019
  • Does Private Regulation Preempt Public Regulation? AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW Malhotra, N., Monin, B., Tomz, M. 2019; 113 (1): 19–37
  • The Paradox of Viral Outrage PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Sawaoka, T., Monin, B. 2018; 29 (10): 1665–78


    Moral outrage has traditionally served a valuable social function, expressing group values and inhibiting deviant behavior, but the exponential dynamics of Internet postings make this expression of legitimate individual outrage appear excessive and unjust. The same individual outrage that would be praised in isolation is more likely to be viewed as bullying when echoed online by a multitude of similar responses, as it then seems to contribute to disproportionate group condemnation. Participants ( N = 3,377) saw racist, sexist, or unpatriotic posts with accompanying expressions of outrage and formed impressions of a single commenter. The same commenter was viewed more negatively when accompanied by a greater number of commenters (i.e., when outrage was viral vs. nonviral), and this was because viral outrage elicited greater sympathy toward the initial offender. We examined this effect and its underlying processes across six studies.

    View details for PubMedID 30091685

  • Consistency Versus Licensing Effects of Past Moral Behavior. Annual review of psychology Mullen, E., Monin, B. 2016; 67: 363-85


    Why does past moral behavior sometimes lead people to do more of the same (consistency), whereas sometimes it liberates them to do the opposite (licensing)? We organize the literature on moderators of moral consistency versus licensing effects using five conceptual themes: construal level, progress versus commitment, identification, value reflection, and ambiguity. Our review reveals that individuals are more likely to exhibit consistency when they focus abstractly on the connection between their initial behavior and their values, whereas they are more likely to exhibit licensing when they think concretely about what they have accomplished with their initial behavior-as long as the second behavior does not blatantly threaten a cherished identity. Moreover, many studies lacked baseline conditions ("donut" designs), leaving it ambiguous whether licensing was observed. And although many proposed moderators yielded significant interactions, evidence for both significant consistency and balancing simple effects in the same study was nearly nonexistent.

    View details for DOI 10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115120

    View details for PubMedID 26393870

  • When principled deviance becomes moral threat: Testing alternative mechanisms for the rejection of moral rebels GROUP PROCESSES & INTERGROUP RELATIONS O'Connor, K., Monin, B. 2016; 19 (5): 676-693
  • Moral Suspicion Trickles Down SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE Sawaoka, T., Monin, B. 2015; 6 (3): 334-342
  • Threatened Men Compensate by Disavowing Feminine Preferences and Embracing Masculine Attributes SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Cheryan, S., Cameron, J. S., Katagiri, Z., Monin, B. 2015; 46 (4): 218-227
  • Core values versus common sense: consequentialist views appear less rooted in morality. Personality and social psychology bulletin Kreps, T. A., Monin, B. 2014; 40 (11): 1529-1542


    When a speaker presents an opinion, an important factor in audiences' reactions is whether the speaker seems to be basing his or her decision on ethical (as opposed to more pragmatic) concerns. We argue that, despite a consequentialist philosophical tradition that views utilitarian consequences as the basis for moral reasoning, lay perceivers think that speakers using arguments based on consequences do not construe the issue as a moral one. Five experiments show that, for both political views (including real State of the Union quotations) and organizational policies, consequentialist views are seen to express less moralization than deontological views, and even sometimes than views presented with no explicit justification. We also demonstrate that perceived moralization in turn affects speakers' perceived commitment to the issue and authenticity. These findings shed light on lay conceptions of morality and have practical implications for people considering how to express moral opinions publicly.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0146167214551154

    View details for PubMedID 25252937

  • When Cheating Would Make You a Cheater: Implicating the Self Prevents Unethical Behavior JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-GENERAL Bryan, C. J., Adams, G. S., Monin, B. 2013; 142 (4): 1001-1005


    In 3 experiments using 2 different paradigms, people were less likely to cheat for personal gain when a subtle change in phrasing framed such behavior as diagnostic of an undesirable identity. Participants were given the opportunity to claim money they were not entitled to at the experimenters' expense; instructions referred to cheating with either language that was designed to highlight the implications of cheating for the actor's identity (e.g., "Please don't be a cheater") or language that focused on the action (e.g., "Please don't cheat"). Participants in the "cheating" condition claimed significantly more money than did participants in the "cheater" condition, who showed no evidence of having cheated at all. This difference occurred both in a face-to-face interaction (Experiment 1) and in a private online setting (Experiments 2 and 3). These results demonstrate the power of a subtle linguistic difference to prevent even private unethical behavior by invoking people's desire to maintain a self-image as good and honest.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0030655

    View details for Web of Science ID 000327108200001

    View details for PubMedID 23127418

  • How the Opinions of Racial Minorities Influence Judgments of Discrimination BASIC AND APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Crosby, J. R., Monin, B. 2013; 35 (4): 334-345
  • The unhealthy road not taken: Licensing indulgence by exaggerating counterfactual sins JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Effron, D. A., Monin, B., Miller, D. T. 2013; 49 (3): 573-578
  • "That's the one I wanted": when do competitors copy their opponents' choices? JOURNAL OF APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Zitek, E. M., Monin, B. 2013; 43 (2): 293-305
  • Inventing Racist Roads Not Taken: The Licensing Effect of Immoral Counterfactual Behaviors JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Effron, D. A., Miller, D. T., Monin, B. 2012; 103 (6): 916-932


    Six experiments examined how people strategically use thoughts of foregone misdeeds to regulate their moral behavior. We tested 2 hypotheses: 1st, that people will feel licensed to act in morally dubious ways when they can point to immoral alternatives to their prior behavior, and 2nd, that people made to feel insecure about their morality will exaggerate the extent to which such alternatives existed. Supporting the 1st hypothesis, when White participants could point to racist alternatives to their past actions, they felt they had obtained more evidence of their own virtue (Study 1), they expressed less racial sensitivity (Study 2), and they were more likely to express preferences about employment and allocating money that favored Whites at the expense of Blacks (Study 3). Supporting the 2nd hypothesis, White participants whose security in their identity as nonracists had been threatened remembered a prior task as having afforded more racist alternatives to their behavior than did those who were not threatened. This distortion of the past involved overestimating the number of Black individuals they had encountered on the prior task (Study 4) and exaggerating how stereotypically Black specific individuals had looked (Studies 5 and 6). We discuss implications for moral behavior, the motivated rewriting of one's moral history, and how the life unlived can liberate people to lead the life they want.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0030008

    View details for Web of Science ID 000311769800002

    View details for PubMedID 23002956

  • The Stranger Effect: The Rejection of Affective Deviants PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Szczurek, L., Monin, B., Gross, J. J. 2012; 23 (10): 1105-1111


    What happens when affective displays deviate from normative expectations? In this study, participants evaluated target individuals displaying flat, incongruent, or congruent expressions seemingly in response to pictures eliciting positive, neutral, or negative affect. Relative to targets who displayed normative reactions, those who violated affective norms (affective deviants) were rated more negatively on various dimensions of social judgment. Participants also preferred greater social distance from affective deviants, reported more moral outrage in response to them, and inferred that these targets did not share their moral values. Incongruent affect resulted in more negative social judgment than did flat affect, and this relationship was moderated by stimulus valence. Finally, the relationship between targets' affective expressions and participants' avoidant intentions was mediated by the extent to which participants thought the targets shared their moral values. These findings demonstrate the interpersonal costs of affective deviance, revealing the pervasiveness and force of affective norms.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0956797612445314

    View details for Web of Science ID 000314499600008

    View details for PubMedID 22961772

  • The strategic pursuit of moral credentials JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Merritt, A. C., Effron, D. A., Fein, S., Savitsky, K. K., Tuller, D. M., Monin, B. 2012; 48 (3): 774-777
  • Do-Gooder Derogation: Disparaging Morally Motivated Minorities to Defuse Anticipated Reproach SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE Minson, J. A., Monin, B. 2012; 3 (2): 200-207
  • Fitting In but Getting Fat: Identity Threat and Dietary Choices Among US Immigrant Groups PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Guendelman, M. D., Cheryan, S., Monin, B. 2011; 22 (7): 959-967


    In two experiments, we tested the hypothesis that pressure felt by U.S. immigrant groups to prove they belong in America causes them to consume more prototypically American, and consequently less healthy, foods. Asian Americans were three times more likely to report a prototypically American food as their favorite after being asked whether they spoke English than when they had not been asked; in contrast, questioning the English abilities of White Americans had no effect on their reports (Experiment 1). Also, Asian Americans ordered and ate dishes that were more American and contained an average of 182 additional calories and 12 extra grams of fat when their American identity was directly challenged than when their American identity was not challenged (Experiment 2). Identity-based psychological processes may help explain why the diets of U.S. immigrant groups tend to decline in nutritional value with longer residence in the United States and over generations.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0956797611411585

    View details for Web of Science ID 000294709300019

    View details for PubMedID 21653909

  • The Trouble with Thinking: People Want to Have Quick Reactions to Personal Taboos EMOTION REVIEW Merritt, A. C., Monin, B. 2011; 3 (3): 318-319
  • Misery Has More Company Than People Think: Underestimating the Prevalence of Others' Negative Emotions PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN Jordan, A. H., Monin, B., Dweck, C. S., Lovett, B. J., John, O. P., Gross, J. J. 2011; 37 (1): 120-135


    Four studies document underestimations of the prevalence of others' negative emotions and suggest causes and correlates of these erroneous perceptions. In Study 1a, participants reported that their negative emotions were more private or hidden than were their positive emotions; in Study 1b, participants underestimated the peer prevalence of common negative, but not positive, experiences described in Study 1a. In Study 2, people underestimated negative emotions and overestimated positive emotions even for well-known peers, and this effect was partially mediated by the degree to which those peers reported suppression of negative (vs. positive) emotions. Study 3 showed that lower estimations of the prevalence of negative emotional experiences predicted greater loneliness and rumination and lower life satisfaction and that higher estimations for positive emotional experiences predicted lower life satisfaction. Taken together, these studies suggest that people may think they are more alone in their emotional difficulties than they really are.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0146167210390822

    View details for PubMedID 21177878

  • "Doing well by doing good"? Ambivalent moral framing in organizations RESEARCH IN ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR: AN ANNUAL SERIES OF ANALYTICAL ESSAYS AND CRITICAL REVIEWS Kreps, T. A., Monin, B. 2011; 31: 99-123
  • Letting People Off the Hook: When Do Good Deeds Excuse Transgressions? PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN Effron, D. A., Monin, B. 2010; 36 (12): 1618-1634


    Three studies examined when and why an actor's prior good deeds make observers more willing to excuse--or license--his or her subsequent, morally dubious behavior. In a pilot study, actors' good deeds made participants more forgiving of the actors' subsequent transgressions. In Study 1, participants only licensed blatant transgressions that were in a different domain than actors' good deeds; blatant transgressions in the same domain appeared hypocritical and suppressed licensing (e.g., fighting adolescent drug use excused sexual harassment, but fighting sexual harassment did not). Study 2 replicated these effects and showed that good deeds made observers license ambiguous transgressions (e.g., behavior that might or might not represent sexual harassment) regardless of whether the good deeds and the transgression were in the same or in a different domain--but only same-domain good deeds did so by changing participants' construal of the transgressions. Discussion integrates two models of why licensing occurs.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0146167210385922

    View details for Web of Science ID 000284470800003

    View details for PubMedID 20978222

  • The Orthogonality of Praise and Condemnation in Moral Judgment SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE Wiltermuth, S. S., Monin, B., Chow, R. M. 2010; 1 (4): 302-310
  • Are mental states assessed relative to what most people "should" or "would" think? Prescriptive and descriptive components of expected attitudes BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES Kreps, T. A., Monin, B. 2010; 33 (4): 341-?
  • Victim Entitlement to Behave Selfishly JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Zitek, E. M., Jordan, A. H., Monin, B., Leach, F. R. 2010; 98 (2): 245-255


    Three experiments demonstrated that feeling wronged leads to a sense of entitlement and to selfish behavior. In Experiment 1, participants instructed to recall a time when their lives were unfair were more likely to refuse to help the experimenter with a supplementary task than were participants who recalled a time when they were bored. In Experiment 2, the same manipulation increased intentions to engage in a number of selfish behaviors, and this effect was mediated by self-reported entitlement to obtain positive (and avoid negative) outcomes. In Experiment 3, participants who lost at a computer game for an unfair reason (a glitch in the program) requested a more selfish money allocation for a future task than did participants who lost the game for a fair reason, and this effect was again mediated by entitlement.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0017168

    View details for Web of Science ID 000273958700006

    View details for PubMedID 20085398

  • Opt-Out Testing for Stigmatized Diseases: A Social Psychological Approach to Understanding the Potential Effect of Recommendations for Routine HIV Testing HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY Young, S. D., Monin, B., Owens, D. 2009; 28 (6): 675-681


    Little research has studied experimentally whether an opt-out policy will increase testing rates or whether this strategy is especially effective in the case of stigmatized diseases such as HIV.In Study 1, a 2 x 2 factorial design asked participants to make moral judgments about a person's decision to test for stigmatized diseases under an opt-in versus an opt-out policy. In Study 2, a 2 x 2 factorial design measuring testing rates explored whether opt-out methods reduce stigma and increase testing for stigmatized diseases.Study 1 results suggest that getting tested draws suspicion regarding moral conduct in an opt-in system, whereas not getting tested draws suspicion in an opt-out system. Study 2 results suggest that an opt-out policy may increase testing rates for stigmatized diseases and lessen the effects of stigma in people's reluctance to test.A social psychological approach to health services can be used to show how testing policies can influence both the stigmatization associated with testing and participation rates. An understanding of how testing policies may affect patient decision making and behavior is imperative for creating effective testing policies.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0016395

    View details for Web of Science ID 000271817400004

    View details for PubMedID 19916635

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2965185

  • The retrospective gambler's fallacy: Unlikely events, constructing the past, and multiple universes JUDGMENT AND DECISION MAKING Oppenheimer, D. M., Monin, B. 2009; 4 (5): 326-334
  • Investigations in spontaneous discounting MEMORY & COGNITION Oppenheimer, D. M., Monin, B. 2009; 37 (5): 608-614


    Oppenheimer's (2004) demonstration that causal discounting (when the presence of one cause casts doubt on the presence of another) can happen spontaneously addressed the standing concern that discounting was an artifact of experimental demands, but these results could have resulted from memory inhibition. The present studies rule out this alternative using the same surname frequency estimation paradigm. In Study 1, individuals discounted surname familiarity even when it could be attributed to semantic meaning; in Study 2, participants under cognitive load discounted less; in Study 3, participants who were promised a prize for accuracy discounted more. All three results conform to a spontaneous causal discounting account better than to the inhibition alternative.

    View details for DOI 10.3758/MC.37.5.608

    View details for Web of Science ID 000266962600007

    View details for PubMedID 19487752

  • Endorsing Obama licenses favoring Whites JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Effron, D. A., Cameron, J. S., Monin, B. 2009; 45 (3): 590-593
  • Life's recurring challenges and the fundamental dimensions: An integration and its implications for cultural differences and similarities EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Ybarra, O., Chan, E., Park, H., Burnstein, E., Monin, B., Stanik, C. 2008; 38 (7): 1083-1092

    View details for DOI 10.1002/ejsp.559

    View details for Web of Science ID 000261550300004

  • From sucker to saint - Moralization in response to self-threat PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Jordan, A. H., Monin, B. 2008; 19 (8): 809-815


    When people's rationality and agency are implicitly called into question by the more expedient behavior of others, they sometimes respond by feeling morally superior; this is referred to as the sucker-to-saint effect. In Experiment 1, participants who completed a tedious task and then saw a confederate quit the same task elevated their own morality over that of the confederate, whereas participants who simply completed the task or simply saw the confederate quit did not. In Experiment 2, this effect was eliminated by having participants contemplate a valued personal quality before encountering the rebellious confederate, a result suggesting a role for self-threat in producing moralization. These studies demonstrate that moral judgments can be more deeply embedded in judges' immediate social contexts-and driven more by motivations to maintain self-image-than is typically appreciated in contemporary moral-psychology research. Rather than uphold abstract principles of justice, moral judgment may sometimes just help people feel a little less foolish.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000258785700011

    View details for PubMedID 18816289

  • Where do we look during potentially offensive behavior? PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Crosby, J. R., Monin, B., Richardson, D. 2008; 19 (3): 226-228

    View details for Web of Science ID 000253711900005

    View details for PubMedID 18315793

  • Failure to warn: How student race affects warnings of potential academic difficulty JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Crosby, J. R., Monin, B. 2007; 43 (4): 663-670
  • Deciding versus reacting: Conceptions of moral judgment and the reason-affect debate REVIEW OF GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY Monin, B., Pizarro, D. A., Beer, J. S. 2007; 11 (2): 99-111
  • Potential moral stigma and reactions to sexually transmitted diseases: Evidence for a disjunction fallacy PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN Young, S. D., Nussbaum, A. D., Monin, B. 2007; 33 (6): 789-799


    Five experiments demonstrate how potential moral stigma leads people to underplay their susceptibility to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and dampens their interest in getting tested. After adding unprotected sex to a list of otherwise innocuous possible vectors for a disease, the authors found that infected people were perceived to be less moral (Experiment 1a), and individuals believed that if they had the disease, others would see them as less moral too (Experiment 1b). Adding this stigmatized vector also reduced reported testing intentions (Experiment 2) and perceived risk of exposure (Experiment 3)--a disjunction fallacy because adding a potential cause reduced estimated likelihood, in violation of basic probability rules. Finally, the authors replicated the effect in a computer virus analog (Experiment 4) and showed that it did not result from simply knowing that one has not engaged in the stigmatized behavior. Results suggest that avoidance of potential stigma can have dramatic health consequences, both for an individual's health decision and for health policy.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0146167207301027

    View details for Web of Science ID 000246886000003

    View details for PubMedID 17488871

  • Holier than me? Threatening social comparison in the moral domain 1st European Workshop on Social Comparison Monin, B. PRESSES UNIV GRENOBLE. 2007: 53–68
  • "Where are you really from?": Asian Americans and identity denial JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Cheryan, S., MONIN, B. 2005; 89 (5): 717-730


    Five studies investigate identity denial, the situation in which an individual is not recognized as a member of an important in-group. Asian Americans are seen as less American than other Americans (Study 1) and realize this is the case, although they do not report being any less American than White Americans (Studies 2A and 2B). Identity denial is a common occurrence in Asian Americans' daily lives (Study 3). They react to instances of identity denial by presenting American cultural knowledge and claiming greater participation in American practices (Studies 4 & 5). Identity denial furthers the understanding of group dynamics by capturing the experience of less prototypical group members who desire to have their common in-group identity recognized by fellow group members.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/0022-3514.89.5.717

    View details for Web of Science ID 000234058000005

    View details for PubMedID 16351364

  • Is positivity a cue or a response option? Warm glow vs evaluative matching in the familiarity for attractive and not-so-attractive faces JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Corneille, O., MONIN, B., Pleyers, G. 2005; 41 (4): 431-437
  • Correlated averages vs. averaged correlations: Demonstrating the warm glow heuristic beyond aggregation SOCIAL COGNITION Monin, B., Oppenheimer, D. M. 2005; 23 (3): 257-278
  • Reacting to an assumed situation vs. conforming to an assumed reaction: The role of perceived speaker attitude in vicarious dissonance GROUP PROCESSES & INTERGROUP RELATIONS Monin, B., Norton, M. I., Cooper, J., Hogg, M. A. 2004; 7 (3): 207-220
  • The warm glow heuristic: When liking leads to familiarity JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY MONIN, B. 2003; 85 (6): 1035-1048


    Five studies demonstrate that the positive valence of a stimulus increases its perceived familiarity, even in the absence of prior exposure. For example, beautiful faces feel familiar. Two explanations for this effect stand out: (a). Stimulus prototypicality leads both to positivity and familiarity, and (b). positive affect is used to infer familiarity in a heuristic fashion. Studies 1 and 2 show that attractive faces feel more familiar than average ones and that prototypicality accounts for only part of this effect. In Study 3, the rated attractiveness of average faces was manipulated by contrast, and their perceived familiarity changed accordingly, although their inherent prototypicaliry remained the same. In Study 4, positive words felt more familiar to participants than neutral and negative words. Study 5 shows that the effect is strongest when recognition is difficult. The author concludes that both prototypicality and a warm glow heuristic are responsible for the "good-is-familiar" phenomenon.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/0022-3514.85.6.1035

    View details for PubMedID 14674812

  • Vicarious dissonance: Attitude change from the inconsistency of others JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Norton, M. I., MONIN, B., Cooper, J., Hogg, M. A. 2003; 85 (1): 47-62


    Three studies support the vicarious dissonance hypothesis that individuals change their attitudes when witnessing members of important groups engage in inconsistent behavior. Study 1, in which participants observed an actor in an induced-compliance paradigm, documented that students who identified with their college supported an issue more after hearing an ingroup member make a counterattitudinal speech in favor of that issue. In Study 2, vicarious dissonance occurred even when participants did not hear a speech, and attitude change was highest when the speaker was known to disagree with the issue. Study 3 showed that speaker choice and aversive consequences moderated vicarious dissonance, and demonstrated that vicarious discomfort--the discomfort observers imagine feeling if in an actor's place--was attenuated after participants expressed their revised attitudes.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/0022-3514.85.1.47

    View details for Web of Science ID 000183814300004

    View details for PubMedID 12872884

  • Perceptions of a fluid consensus: Uniqueness bias, false consensus, false polarization, and pluralistic ignorance in a water conservation crisis PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN MONIN, B., Norton, M. I. 2003; 29 (5): 559-567


    A 5-day field study (N = 415) during and right after a shower ban demonstrated multifaceted social projection and the tendency to draw personality inferences from simple behavior in a time of drastic consensus change. Bathers thought showering was more prevalent than did non-bathers (false consensus) and respondents consistently underestimated the prevalence of the desirable and common behavior--be it not showering during the shower ban or showering after the ban (uniqueness bias). Participants thought that bathers and non-bathers during the ban differed greatly in their general concern for the community, but self-reports demonstrated that this gap was illusory (false polarization). Finally, bathers thought other bathers cared less than they did, whereas non-bathers thought other non-bathers cared more than they did (pluralistic ignorance). The study captures the many biases at work in social perception in a time of social change.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0146167203251523

    View details for Web of Science ID 000182341800001

    View details for PubMedID 15272990