Benjamin Blankenship

Benjamin T. Blankenship

Assistant Professor of Psychology, James Madison University
Chapter Leader: Virginia SSN

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About Benjamin

Blankenship's research focuses on the role of identity and stereotypes ion the political engagement, belonging, and well-being of marginalized groups, specifically focusing on groups with concealable identities. Blankenship's scholarship has asked such questions as: "How do our social identities affect what social/political institutions we trust?," "How do people's feelings about their identities affect their political engagement?," and "How can we broaden the scope of what we think of as political activism and engagement?"


In the News

Quoted by Beth McMurtrie The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 5, 2020.


"The Best Little Kid in the World: Internalized Sexual Stigma and Extrinsic Contingencies of Self-Worth, Work Values, and Life Aspirations Among Men and Women" (with Abigail J. Stewart). European Journal of Social Psychology (2021).

Expands on research and hypothesized that internalized sexual stigma would be associated with achievement-related contingencies of self-worth equally for men and women with sexual minority identities. Discusses that in a mixed-gender sample of 237 college students with sexual minority identities, this hypothesis was supported.

"Trust and Tribulation: Racial Identity Centrality, Institutional Trust, and Support for Candidates in the 2020 US Presidential Election" (with Tangier Davis, Maira A. Areguin, Özge Savaş, David Winter, and Abigail J. Stewart). Analysis of Social Issues and Public Policy (2021).

Mentions how racial-ethnic identity centrality, or the importance of race/ethnicity in people's self-perceptions, affected peoples’ support for the Democratic and Republican candidates in the 2020 US election. Explores this association by examining the mediating role of trust in important social institutions.

"Examining College Students’ Multiple Social Identities of Gender, Race, and Socioeconomic Status: Implications for Intergroup and Social Justice Attitudes." (with Marona Graham-Bailey, Bridget Cheeks Richardson, Benjamin T. , Blankenship, Abigail J. Stewart, and Tabbye M. Chavous). American Psychological Association 12, no. 4 (2019): 377-389.

Acknowledges that individuals hold multiple social identities simultaneously, but relatively little research examines individuals’ identification with multiple social identities or implications for their social attitudes.  Uses latent class cluster analysis to examine variation in patterns of identity centrality across gender, racial, and social class identities among a diverse college student sample (N = 887) attending a predominantly White university.

"Can "Slacktivism" Work? Perceived Power Differences Moderate the Relationship Between Social Media Activism and Collective Action Intentions Through Positive Affec" (with Abigail J. Stewart, Mindi D. Foster, and Eden Hennessey). CyberPsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace 13, no. 4 (2019).
"Piecing Together the American Voting Puzzle: How Voters’ Personalities and Judgments of Issue Importance Mattered in the 2016 Presidential Election" (with Özge Savaş, Jennifer K. Frederick, and Abigail J. Stewart). Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy (2018).

Investigates the roles of personality and issue importance in how people voted in the 2016 U.S. election. Mentions that in this longitudinal study of 403 MTurk workers who voted in the election, we assessed the relations between personality (openness, social dominance orientation, and national identity importance) and issue importance (group rights and social justice, economic rights, and individual and national rights), and voting for Clinton or Trump.

"Intersectional Identities, Identity Dimensions, and Academic Contingencies of Self-Worth" (with Abigail J. Stewart). An International Journal of Theory and Research 17, no. 3 (2017): 109-124.

Compares academic contingencies of self-worth in three groups of participants, who varied in their feelings about two minority identities: sexual minority Asian/Pacific Islanders, straight Asian/Pacific Islanders, and sexual minority Whites. Comparing pairs of groups that shared one marginalized social identity, we confirmed our hypothesis that participants’ feelings about their racial identity related to contingent self-worth differently based on their sexuality; in contrast, participants’ feelings about their sexual identity related to contingent self-worth in the same way regardless of race.

"Privilege and Marginality: How Group Identification and Personality Predict Right- and Left-Wing Political Activism" (with Jennifer K. Frederick, Ozge Savas, Abigail J. Stewart, and Samantha Montgomery). Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy 17, no. 1 (2017): 161-183.

Examines the relationship between social identities, personality, and political activism.

"Threat, Trust, and Trump: Identity and Voting in the 2016 Presidential Election" (with Abigail J. Stewart). Politics, Groups, and Identities 7, no. 3 (2016): 724-736 .

 Discusses whether trust in science and the media mediated the relationship between the centrality of racial, gender, and class identities, and how the importance of these identities was related to participants’ votes.