Term of Award

Summer 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair


Committee Member 1


Committee Member 2



Millions of individuals worldwide are malnourished and without clean drinking water due to a lack of environmental resources. Resource scarcity is a ubiquitous ecological threat that significantly influences social cognition and behavior. For example, research on resource scarcity has shown that it significantly reduces in-group inclusiveness. In fact, when individuals are primed with resource scarcity, they are significantly less likely to categorize racially ambiguous others as belonging to their racial in-group. The current study aimed to extend this research by examining the impact of resource scarcity on in-group inclusiveness while also accounting for variations of early life environmental hardship (i.e., childhood socioeconomic status). Utilizing a life history theory framework, it was predicted that early life exposure to scarcity would moderate its influence on in-group inclusiveness. However, contrary to prior research findings, no significant effect of resource scarcity on in-group inclusiveness was observed. Additionally, there was no interaction between scarcity and childhood socioeconomic status on in-group inclusiveness. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Research Data and Supplementary Material