PhD student

Cristhian Martínez

PhD student

Room: MF-C576


I obtained my B.A. and M.Sc. (summa cum laude) in Psychology from the National University of Colombia in Bogotá, with a research emphasis on social cognition and moral development. For some years I was a lecturer in the psychology department of the National University of Colombia ('social cognition') and the psychology department of El Bosque University ('social learning', 'research methods II' and 'behavioral economics, motivation and decision making'), where I also established and directed the research group 'Social cognition and moral reasoning'; supervised graduate thesis projects; and worked as a researcher.

I have studied moral reasoning in relation to political culture and socially constructed knowledge using mixed methods. My past research has focused on the conceptual coordination/incoordination between socio-moral transgressions and their perceived appropriate sanctions in educational settings; the influence of socio-cultural shared assumptions in moral and tolerance judgments about corruption; and the effects of media dehumanization of perpetrators on third-party observers` retributive/restorative justice judgments, attributions, and attitudes in post-war settings.

Research interests

Broadly speaking, I am interested in how people build a concept of justice and react to different kinds of transgressions in the social and political spheres. More specifically, I am intrigued by how social (e.g. intergroup dynamics), cultural (e.g. folk knowledge), and political (e.g. agenda settings, ideology) factors could explain these cognitive, emotional and behavioral reactions to unfairness. For addressing these questions, I mainly navigate in the intersection between cognitive, social, and political psychology, but I am also open to insights from other disciplines such as sociology, political science, and economics.


My Ph.D. project under the supervision of Dr. Jan-Willem van Prooijen and Prof. Dr. Paul van Lange aims to understand the unique characteristics of hate feelings and explore its potential functions and consequences for individuals and for interpersonal and intergroup relationships.