Research Areas

Gender; Social and Personality Psychology; Collective Action; Social Identity; Social Change 


Ph.D., University of Michigan 

B.A., Smith College 


Personal Website

Faculty Page at Clark University

Nicola Curtin

Nicola Curtin

Nicola Curtin

Nicola Curtin received her Ph.D. in Psychology (Personality and Social Contexts) and Women ‘s Studies from the University of Michigan. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Smith College. She joined Clark University in September 20 11 as an Assistant Professor. Her primary line of research examines the roles of life experiences, individual differences, and social identities in commitments to creating social change, with a  particular emphasis on ally and coalitional activism. She explores the development of social change attitudes and behaviors across different social contexts, with a focus on United States identity-based rights activism. Much of her work has focused specifically on women activists, across different social justice issues. In a secondary line of research, she examines perceptions of fit and success in academia, focusing on the role of marginal statuses (such as being a working class or international student), advisor support, and academic and professional experiences among graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. In both lines of research she is concerned with how one’s social group membership can combine with other features of the social context to generate positive outcomes.

Current Projects

Nicola’s project is an interview-based study of how women’s lived experiences (experiences embedded in particular social locations informed by gender, race, class, sexuality, historical moment, etc.) inform the development of their political selves and their commitments to ally activism, and working across difference for social change. 

Representative Publications

Curtin, N. & Stewart, A. J. Linking personal and social histories with collective identity narratives. In S. Wiley, G. Philogène, & T. A. Revenson (Eds.), Social categories in everyday experience (pp. 83-102). Washington DC: American Psychological Association. (2011).

Cortina,  L.  M.,  Curtin,  N.,  &  Stewart,  A. J.  “Where  is  social  structure  in   personal- ity research? A feminist analysis of publication trends.” Psychology of Women  Quarterly. 36, 259-273 (2012).