Harrison Oakes

MA Candidate

Harrison Oakes wearing a striped sweater and standing in front of a brick wall.Social psychology 

BA (Hons) 2014, University of Winnipeg

Supervisor: Igor Grossmann

Contact information


  • President’s Graduate Scholarship (2015)                                                                                 
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2015)                                     
  • Society for Personality and Social Psychology Diversity Fund Travel Award (2015, 2014)  
  • University of Waterloo Graduate Scholarship (2014)                                                              
  • Dr. John and Elizabeth Coté Award (2013)
  • H. V. Rutherford Scholarship (2013)
  • Golden Key International Honour Society (2013)
  • Undergraduate Student Research Award: Human Sciences, UWinnipeg (2013, 2012)
  • Dr. & Mrs. Roderick Hunter Scholarship (2012)


In my undergrad, I studied the impact of sexist ideology on perceptions of traveling women under the supervision of Dr. Danielle Gaucher. Together with Dr. Wendy Josephson, Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet), and Family Channel, I studied bullying and wrote two nationally-disseminated teacher’s guides for bullying awareness. I studied the sacralization of secular icons (e.g., Ronald Reagan, Che Guevara) and the duality of the self (as a “moral actor” and “selfish agent”) under the supervision of Dr. Jeremy Frimer.

Research interests

My research interests encompass themes of social justice, wisdom, and emotion. Currently, I am examining the roles of threat and defense in prejudice (e.g., masculinity threat and subsequent homophobic behavior/cognition) and the interaction of power and status with anxiety in shaping cognition and emotion.


  • Frimer, J. A., Aquino, K., Gebauer, J. E., Zhu, L. & Oakes, H. (2015). A decline in prosocial language helps explain public disapproval of the US Congress. PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112, 6591-6594. doi:10.1073/pnas.1500355112.
  • Frimer, J. A., Schaefer, N. K., & Oakes, H. (2014). Moral actor, selfish agent. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 790-802. doi:10.1037/a0036040
  • Frimer, J. A., & Oakes, H. (2014). Spoken words reveal selfish motives: An individual difference approach to moral motivation. In H. Sarkissian & J. C. Wright (Eds.), Advances in experimental moral psychology (pp. 36-54). London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.
  • Oakes, H., Josephson, W., Spring, M., Shumka, E., Pandori, J., Doucet, J., Erichson, C., & Cummings, J. (2013). Bullying Awareness Week: Teacher’s guide. Toronto, ON: Family Channel.

Selected conference presentations

  • Oakes, H., & Grossmann, I. (2016). Rising above and sinking below: Rejection sensitivity moderates the impact of power on wise reasoning. Poster to be presented at the 17th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Diego, CA.
  • Oakes, H., & Gaucher, D. (2015). “There’s no place like home”: The ideological motivation behind perceptions of danger and danger-related travel advice for female travelers. Poster to be presented at the 16th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Long Beach, CA.
  • Oakes, H., & Frimer, J. A. (2014). An implicit measure of moral motivation predicts the public’s approval of US Congress. Poster presented at the 15th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Austin, TX.
  • Oakes, H., Josephson, W., & Gaucher, D. (2013). Perceived seriousness of school bullying before and after a high profile tragedy. Poster presented at the 74th Annual Canadian Psychological Association Convention, Quebec City, QC.
  • Oakes, H., Josephson, W., & Gaucher, D. (2013). Perceptions of and responses to school bullying after a high profile tragedy. Poster presented at the 7th Annual Conference of PREVNet, Toronto, ON.
University of Waterloo

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