Rachel Isabel McDonald

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Psychology
Assistant Professor
Primary office:
785-864-6527
Fraser Hall
Room 441
University of Kansas
1450 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045
Second office:



Professor McDonald earned her Ph.D. at the University of Queensland, Australia. Her research examines social psychological influences on sustainable behavior and responses to environmental issues like climate change.

Teaching Interests

  • Social Psychology
  • Attitudes
  • Social Influence
  • Social Norms

Research Interests

  • Social psychology
  • Environmental psychology
  • Social norms
  • Environmental behavior
  • Climate change

Selected Publications

Ferguson, M. A, McDonald, R. I, & Branscombe, N. R (2016). Global Climate Change: A Social Identity Perspective on Informational and Structural Interventions. In . (Ed.), Understanding Peace and Conflict Through Social Identity Theory: Contemporary and Worldwide Perspectives.

Haslam, S. A., Reicher, S. D., Millard, K., & McDonald, R. I. (2015). "Happy to have been of service": The Yale archive as a window into the engaged followership of Milgram's participants. British Journal of Social Psychology, 54, 55-83.

McDonald, R. I., Chai, H. Yih, & Newell, B. R. (2015). Personal experience and the 'psychological distance' of climate change: An integrative review. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 44, 109-118.

McDonald, R. I., & Crandall, C. S. (2015). Social Norms and Social Influence. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 3, 147-151.

McDonald, R. I., Fielding, K. S., & Louis, W. R. (2014). Conflicting norms highlight the need for action. Environment and Behavior, 46, 139-162.

McDonald, R. I., Fielding, K. S., & Louis, W. R. (2014). Conflicting social norms and community conservation compliance. Journal for Nature Conservation, 22(3), 212-216.

Staunton, M., Louis, W. R., Smith, J. R., Terry, D. J., & McDonald, R. I. (2014). How negative descriptive norms for healthy eating undermine the effects of positive injunctive norms. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 44, 319-330.

Newell, B. R., McDonald, R. I., Brewer, M. B., & Hayes, B. K. (2014). The psychology of environmental decisions. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 39, 443-467.

McDonald, R. I., Newell, B. R., & Denson, T. F. (2014). Would you rule out going green? The effect of inclusion versus exclusion mindset on pro-environmental willingness: Inclusion versus exclusion
. European Journal of Social Psychology [00462772], 44(5), 507-513. DOI:10.1002/EJSP.2040

McDonald, R. I, Fielding, K. S, & Louis, W. R (2013). Energizing and de-motivating effects of norm-conflict. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 39(1), 57-72. DOI:10.1177/0146167212464234

Fielding, K. S., McDonald, R., & Louis, W. R. (2008). Theory of planned behaviour, identity and intentions to engage in environmental activism. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 28, 318-326.


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