CT Headshot 2019-edit.jpg

Catherine Thomas

My research examines the psychology of poverty and inequality and their remedies. Integrating social psychology, cultural psychology, and behavioral science, I uncover social psychological processes that undermine the economic mobility of people in poverty and simultaneously depress public will to address inequality. Yet, I show how brief social psychological interventions can promote economic mobility and well-being, particularly in the context of anti-poverty policies like universal basic income and cash transfers. In this work, I conduct lab and field experiments in the US and low- and middle-income countries and in partnership with nonprofits and governments. My research has been published in peer-reviewed outlets including Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and in popular media outlets like Time Magazine and Foreign Affairs. 

I am currently a Postdoctoral Scholar in Psychology at Stanford University and have a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stanford University, M.Sc. in Global Mental Health from the University of London, and a B.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology from Yale University. In 2023, I'll be starting as an Assistant Professor in Psychology and Organizational Studies at the University of Michigan.


Catherine Thomas

Stanford University, Department of Psychology
450 Jane Stanford Way

Building 420

Stanford, CA 94305

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn