Cathryn Johnson


Senior Associate Dean of Laney Graduate School

Office: Tarbutton Hall 226

Phone: 404-727-3901

Fax: 404-727-7532



  • PhD in Sociology, University of Iowa 1990
  • MSW in Social Work, University of Illinois, 1981
  • BA in Sociology, University of Illinois, 1979


My areas of expertise include social psychology, organizations, identity processes, and emotions, with special emphasis on the study of legitimacy processes within groups and organizations. I am collaborating on two on-going projects with my colleague Karen Hegtvedt and several current and former graduate students. First, our NSF supported experimental work focuses on the impact of legitimacy processes on emotional and cognitive responses to distributive injustice. Our second project, supported by the Spencer foundation, involves analysis of survey and qualitative data collected from undergraduates living in “green” and conventional dormitories to examine the impact of sustainability programming on environmental attitudes, identities, and behaviors. I should note that Dr. Hegtvedt and I have also recently co-authored a social psychology textbook for Sage Publications, Social Psychology: Individuals, Interaction, and Inequality (2017). My work has appeared in American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Annual Review of Sociology, Social Psychology Quarterly, Social Justice Research, The Sociological Quarterly, Advances in Group Processes, and other journals and edited volumes. I typically teach undergraduate and graduate courses in social psychology. Currently, I am Senior Associate Dean in Laney Graduate School, serving in academic affairs.