Pierce Ekstrom

My research focuses on political conflict. What causes people to disagree about politics? What are the consequences of this disagreement for individuals' interactions and for democracy in general?

Specifically, some of my ongoing projects have explored:

  • The role of social identity in heterogeneous reactions to political scandal
  • The dynamic effect of personality traits on political attitudes over time
  • Ideological and partisan differences in moral reasoning

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • B.A.: Psychology & Political Science, University of Chicago, Chicago, 2012.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Political Psychology
  • Interpersonal and Intergroup Conflict
  • Morality
Courses Taught
  • Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Major Project in Psychology
  • Research Lab in Psychology
  • Christopher M. Federico, Pierce D. Ekstrom, Michal Reifen Tagar, Allison L. Williams (2016). Epistemic Motivation and the Structure of Moral Intuition: Dispositional Need for Closure as a Predictor of Individualizing and Binding Morality. European Journal of Personality, 30, 227-239. LinkDownload
  • Christopher M. Federico, Pierce D. Ekstrom (Forthcoming). The Political Self: How Identity Aligns Preferences With Epistemic Needs. Psychological Science, Download