Cynthia Kate Hawks

* BA in History, Southern Methodist University, 2009
* MA in Sociology and Anthropology of Religion, King's College London, 2011
* Certificate in Theological Studies, University of Oxford, 2017

General Research Areas

Social Psychology, Health, Inequality, Culture, Values & Morality, Quantitative Methods

Current Research

My research examines questions about processes and mechanisms operating at the interpersonal level that have implications for group-level outcomes. Using a social psychological approach, I tackle questions in the areas of health and inequality.

In my dissertation research, I apply theoretical insights and measurement from social and moral psychology to the public health domain to illuminate some of the nuanced processes undergirding different responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. My work uniquely examines the impact of values on the perceived legitimacy of public health authorities (i.e., the extent to which authorities are viewed as appropriate, taken-for-granted, and widely accepted) and behavioral (non)compliance with public health directives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a second research area, I interrogate inequality in the workplace, focusing on challenges faced by women and people of color in positions of leadership. Specifically, I look at factors that affect the legitimacy of workplace authorities and how this differs by authorities’ race and gender.


Hegtvedt, Karen A., Cathryn Johnson, Ryan Gibson, Kate Hawks, and Jennifer L. Hayward. 2022. “Power and Procedure: Gaining Legitimacy in the Workplace.” Social Forces 101(1):176-201.

 KHawks Curriculum Vitae