Dr. Vollhardt received a Diplom (German equivalent to B.A. and M.A. combined) in Psychology from the University of Cologne in 2004. She received a Ph.D. in Social Psychology (with a concentration in the Psychology of Peace and Violence) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in May 2009. She joined Clark University in September 2009.
Current Research and Teaching
Dr. Vollhardt’s research focuses on the psychological impact of collective victimization on political attitudes and relations with members of other groups. She is interested in the underlying social psychological processes and conditions that give rise to constructive, rather than destructive outcomes of the experience of victimization. Another area of research examines various aspects of the psychology of genocide and its aftermath. Her current research projects include inclusive and exclusive victim consciousness, the psychological consequences of acknowledgment (versus denial) of collective victimization, resistance during the Holocaust, and media-based reconciliation interventions in East Africa. Ms. Vollhardt conducts this research using multiple methods (e.g., experiments, surveys, content analysis, archival research, interviews, focus groups) and working with various ethnic, religious and national (minority) groups in the U.S., Europe, India, and East Africa. She serves on the governing council of the International Society of Political Psychology and as founding co-editor of the Journal of Social and Political Psychology.
Dr. Vollhardt is currently teaching courses on experimental research methods, social psychology, and on the social psychology of intergroup relations and ethnic conflict.
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Campbell, M. & Vollhardt, J.R. (in press). Fighting the good fight: The relationship between belief in evil and support for violent policies. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
Bilali, R., & Vollhardt, J.R. (2013). Priming effects of a reconciliation radio drama on historical perspective taking in the aftermath of mass violence in Rwanda. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 144-151.
Vollhardt, J.R. & Bilewicz, M. (Eds.). (2013). The aftermath of genocide: psychological perspectives [Special issue]. Journal of Social Issues, 69(1).
Vollhardt, J.R. & Bilewicz, M. (2013). After the genocide: psychological perspectives on victim, bystander, and perpetrator groups. Journal of Social Issues, 69, 1-15.
Vollhardt, J.R. (2013). “Crime against humanity” or “Crime against Jews”? Acknowledgment in construals of the Holocaust and its importance for intergroup relations. Journal of Social Issues, 69, 144-161.
Vollhardt, J.R. (2012). Interpreting rights and duties after mass violence. Culture and Psychology, 18, 133-145.
Vollhardt, J. R. (2012). Collective victimization. In L. Tropp (Ed.), Oxford handbook of intergroup conflict (pp. 136 - 157). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Vollhardt, J. R. & Staub, E. (2011). Inclusive altruism born of suffering: The effects of past suffering on prosocial behavior toward outgroups. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 81, 307-315.
Vollhardt, J. R. (2010). Enhanced external and culturally sensitive attributions after extended intercultural contact. British Journal of Social Psychology, 49, 363-383.
Vollhardt, J.R. (2009). Altruism born of suffering and prosocial behavior following adverse life events: A review and conceptual integration. Social Justice Research, 22, 53-97.
Vollhardt, J. R. (2009). The role of victim beliefs in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Risk or potential for peace? Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 15, 135-159.
Vollhardt, J., & Migacheva, K., & Tropp, L. (2008). Social cohesion and tolerance for group differences. In J. de Rivera (Ed.), Handbook on building cultures of peace (pp. 139-152). Berlin, New York: Springer.
Vollhardt, J. & Bilali, R. (2008). Social psychology’s contribution to the psychological study of peace: A review. Social Psychology, 39, 12-25.