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Zachary K. Rothschild

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Bowdoin College

My research interests focus on the psychological defenses people employ to maintain a meaningful and controllable conception of reality and a positive moral identity when faced with circumstances that threaten to undermine these perceptions. I am particularly interested in the destructive consequences these defensive processes have on interpersonal and intergroup relationships. For example, one recent line of research examines how people engage in scapegoating to protect their perceived personal control or moral identity when confronted with large-scale negative events (e.g., climate change, economic turmoil). In a related line of research, I am exploring how feelings of guilt over personal/collective harm-doing can drive defensive expressions of moral outrage at other perceived harm-doers in the name of justice.


  • –present
    Assistant Professor of Psychology, Bowdoin College


  • 2013 
    University of Kansas, Ph.D. Social Psychology