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About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Psychology Research Units Social Psychology

Inaction versus action in response to collective disadvantage

Social Psychology

In this program of research I study determinants of inaction in response to different types of disadvantage (e.g., as ethnic minority, student). People often do not act out against experiences of disadvantage, such as when they are a target of discrimination. Why is this the case? And can we distinguish and predict different forms of inaction (e.g., acceptance, frustration)? I have taken different approaches here, one being to focus on the role of Just World Beliefs in responding to disadvantage (Stroebe et al., 2011; Stroebe, 2013). Taking a more applied approach, I have also studied responses to earthquakes in the North-East Groningen area (Otjes, Stroebe, & Postmes, 2014).

Researchers and partners

Behavioural and Social Sciences, Psychology
University of Groningen, outside of Behavioural and Socials Sciences
Partners outside of the University of Groningen
  • John Dovidio, Naomi Ellemers (UU), Manuela Barreto (University of Exeter), Melissa Sue John (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)


Selection of BA and MA student projects
  • inaction in response to the Groningen earthquakes?
  • BJW and discrimination,


  • Stroebe, K., Wang, K., & Wright, S. (2015). Future directions in confronting disadvantage: moving from individual coping to societal change?. Journal of Social Issues, 71, 633-645.
  • Stroebe, K. (2013). Motivated Inaction: When collective disadvantage does not induce collective action. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43, 1963?2167.
  • Wang, K., Stroebe, K., & Dovidio, J.F. (2012). Stigma consciousness and prejudice ambiguity: Can it be adaptive to perceive the world as biased? Personality and Individual Differences, 53, 241-245.
  • Stroebe, K., Dovidio, J.F., Barreto, M., Ellemers, N., & John, M.S. (2011). Is the world a just place? Countering the negative consequences of pervasive discrimination by reaffirming the world as just. British Journal of Social Psychology, 50, 484?500.

University's focus areas

  • Sustainable Society

More information

Last modified:29 March 2021 10.17 a.m.