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Hazel Rose Markus

Professor of Psychology
Stanford University

Hazel Rose Markus is the Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Her research focuses on the role of self in regulating behavior and on the ways in which the social world shapes the self. Her work examines how cultures, including those of nation or region of origin, gender, social class, race, ethnicity, religion, and occupation, shape thought, feeling, and action.


Markus received her B.A. from California State University at San Diego and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.


Markus is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has received the American Psychological Association's award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution, the Donald T. Campbell award from SPSP for contributions to social psychology, the APS William James Award for lifetime achievement for basic research, and is a member of National Academy of Sciences.


Markus is faculty director of Stanford SPARQ, and former Director of Research Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE). She is a member of the Successful Societies Advisory Committee, a program of the Canadian Institute For Advanced Research (CIFAR), and is the former President of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

SPARQ | Faculty Director

  • Bridging research and practice to sparq change

    Stanford SPARQ is a “do tank” that partners with industry leaders to tackle disparities and inspire culture change using insights from behavioral science. We work in criminal justice, economic mobility, education, and health.


Selected Publications by Topic

Theory: Self & Culture

Markus, H. R., & Conner, A. C. (2014). Clash! How to thrive in a multicultural world. New York: Penguin (Hudson Street Press).

Markus, H. R., & Conner, A. C. (2011). The culture cycle. Edge.

Markus, H. R. & Kitayama, S. K. (2010). Cultures and selves: A cycle of mutual constitution. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(4), 420-430.

Adams, G., & Markus, H. R. (2002). Culture as patterns: An alternative approach to the problem of reification.Culture and Psychology, 7(3), 283-296.

Fiske, A., Kitayama, S., Markus, H. R., & Nisbett, R. E. (1998). The cultural matrix of social psychology.In D. Gilbert, S. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), The Handbook of Social Psychology, Vol. 2 (4th ed., pp. 915-981). San Francisco: McGraw-Hill.

Oyserman, D. & Markus, H. R. (1993). The sociocultural self.In J. Suls (Ed.), Psychological perspectives on the self, Vol 4: The self in social perspective. (4th ed., pp. 187-211). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Markus, H., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review, 98, 224-253.

Markus, H., & Nurius, P. (1986). Possible selves. American Psychologist, 41 954-969.

Agency, Motivation & Culture

Markus, H. R. (2016). What moves people to action? Culture and motivation. Current Opinion in Psychology, 8(4), 161-166.

Fu, A. S., & Markus, H. R. (2014). My mother and me: Why tiger mothers motivate Asian Americans but not European Americans. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40(6), 739-749.

Hamedani, M. G., Markus, H. R., & Fu, A. S. (2013). In the land of the free, interdependent action undermines motivation. Psychological Science, 24(2), 189-196.

Plaut, V., & Markus, H. (2005). The “inside” story: A cultural-historical analysis of how to be smart and motivated, American style. In A. Eliot & C. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of culture and motivation. (pp. 457-488). New York: The Guilford Press.

Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (2003). Models of agency: Sociocultural diversity in the construction of action. In V. Murphy-Berman & J. Berman (Eds.),The 49th Annual Nebraska symposium on motivation: Cross-cultural differences in perspectives on self (pp. 1-57). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Emotions, Attitudes & Culture

Riemer, H., Shavitt, S., Koo, M., & Markus, H. R., (2014). Preferences don’t have to be personal: Expanding attitude theorizing with a cross-cultural perspective. Psychological Review, 121(4), 619-648.

Park, J., Kitayama, S., Markus, H. R., Coe, C. L., Miyamoto, Y., Karasawa, M… Ryff, C. D. (2013). Social status and anger expression: The cultural moderation hypothesis. Emotion, 13(6), 1122-1131.

Uchida, Y., Townsend, S., & Markus, H. R. (2009). Emotions as within or between people: Cultural variation in lay theories of emotion expression and inference. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(11), 1427-1439.

Kitayama, S., Markus, H. R., & Kurokawa, M. (2000). Culture, emotion and well-being: Good feelings in Japan and the United States. Emotion and Motivation, 14(1), 93-124.

Health, Well-Being & Culture

Kitayama, S., Park, J., Boylan, J., Miyamoto, Y., Levine, C. S, Markus, H R., Karasawa, M., Coe, C., Kawakami, N., Love, G. & Ryff, C. (2015). Expression of anger and ill health in two cultures: An examination of inflammation and cardiovascular risk. Psychological Science, 26(2). 211-220.

Curhan, K. B., Sims, T., Markus, H. R., Kitayama, S., Karasawa, M., Kawakami, N., … Ryff, C. (2014). Just how bad negative affect is for your health depends on culture. Psychological Science, 25(12), 2277-2280.

Ryff, C. D., Love, G. D., Miyamoto, Y., Markus, H. R., Curhan, K. B., Kitayama, S., Park, J., Kawakami, N., Kan, C., & Karasawa, M. (2014). Culture and the promotion of well-being: Understanding varieties of attunement to the surrounding context. In G. A. Fava & C. Ruini (Eds.), Increasing psychological well-being in clinical and education settings: Interventions and cultural contexts. New York: Springer.

Curhan, K., Levine, C. S., Markus, H. R.,Kitayama, S., Park, J., Karasawa, M … Ryff, C. D. (2014). Subjective and objective hierarchies and their relations to psychological well-being: A U.S./Japan comparison. Social and Personality Psychology Science, 5(8), 855-864.

Miyamoto, Y., Boylan, J. M., Coe, C. L., Curhan, K. B., Levine, C. S., Markus, H. R., … Ryff, C. D. (2013). Negative emotions predict elevated interleukin-6 in the United States but not in Japan. Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

Kitayama, S., Karasawa, M., Curhan, K., Ryff, C., & Markus, H. (2010). Independence and interdependence predict health and well-being: Divergent patterns in the United States and Japan. Frontiers in Psychology, 1(163), 1-10.

Race/Ethnicity & Diversity

Brannon, T. N., Markus, H. R., & Taylor, V. J. (2015). ‘Two souls, two thoughts’, two self-schemas: Positive consequences of double consciousness for self-construal and academic performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 108(4), 586-609.

Townsend, S.M., Fryberg, S. A., Wilkins, C. L., & Markus, H. R. (2012). Being mixed: Who claims a biracial identity? Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 18(1), 91-96.

Moya, P., & Markus, H. R. (2010). Doing race: An introduction. In H. Markus & P. Moya (Eds.), Doing race: 21 essays for the 21st century. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.

Markus, H. R. (2010). Who am I?: Race, ethnicity and identity. In H. Markus & P. Moya (Eds.), Doing race: 21 essays for the 21st century. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Townsend, S. Markus, H. & Bergsieker, H. (2009). My choice, your categories: The denial of multiracial identities. Journal of Social Issues, 65(1), 185-204.

Markus, H. (2008). Pride, prejudice, and ambivalence: Toward a unified theory of race and ethnicity. American Psychologist, 63(8), 651-670.

Fryberg, S., Markus, H. R., Oyserman, D., & Stone, J. (2008). Of warrior chiefs and Indian princesses: The psychological consequences of American Indian mascots. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 30(3), 208-218.

Markus, H. R. (2008). Identity matters: Ethnicity, race, and the American dream. In R. Shweder, M. Minow & H. R. Markus (Eds.), Just schools: Pursuing equal education in societies of difference. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Markus, H. R., Steele, C. M., & Steele, D. M. (2000). Colorblindness as a barrier to inclusion: Assimilation and nonimmigrant minorities. Daedalus, 129(4), 233-259.

Social Class as Culture

Stephens, N. M., Brannon, T. N., Markus, H. R., & Nelson, J. E. (2015). Feeling at home in college: Fortifying school-relevant selves to reduce social class disparities in higher education: The importance of fit and empowerment. Social Issues and Policy Review, 9(1),1-24.

Curhan, K., Levine, C. S., Markus, H. R.,Kitayama, S., Park, J., Karasawa, M … Ryff, C. D. (2014). Subjective and objective hierarchies and their relations to psychological well-being: A U.S./Japan comparison. Social and Personality Psychology Science, 5(8), 855-864.

Stephens, N. M., Markus, H. R., & Phillips, L. T. (2014). Social class culture cycles: How three gateway contexts shape selves and fuel inequality. Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 611-634.

Stephens, N. M., Fryberg, S. A., Markus, H. R., Johnson, C. S., & Covarrubias, R. (2012). Unseen disadvantage: How the American universities’ focus on independence undermines the academic performance of first-generation college students. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102, 1178-1197.

Schwartz, B., Markus, H. R., & Snibbe, A. C. (2006, Feb 26). Is freedom just another word for many things to buy? The New York Times.

Choice & Culture

Savani, K., Stephens, N., & Markus, H.R. (2011). The unanticipated interpersonal and societal consequences of choice: Victim-blaming and reduced support for the public good. Psychological Science, 22(6), 795- 802.

Savani, K., Markus, H. R., Naidu, N. V. R., Kumar, S., & Berlia, N. (2010). What counts as a choice? U.S. Americans are more likely than Indians to construe actions as choices. Psychological Science, 14(1)(3), 391-398.

Stephens, N. M., Fryberg, S. A., & Markus, H. R. (2011). When choice does not equal freedom: A Sociocultural analysis of agency in working-class contexts. Personality and Social Psychology Science, 2(1), 33-41.

Stephens, N., Hamedani, M., Markus, H., Bergsieker, H. B., & Eloul, L. (2009). Why did they “choose” to stay? Perspectives of Hurricane Katrina observers and survivors. Psychological Science, 20, 878-886.

Savani, K., Markus, H., & Conner A. L. (2008). Let your preference be your guide? Preferences and choices are more tightly linked for North Americans than for Indians. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(4), 861-876.

Region as Culture

Plaut, V. C., Markus, H. R., Treadway, J. R., & Fu, A. S. (2012). The cultural construction of self and well-being: A tale of two cities. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38(12), 1644-1658.

Plaut, V., Markus, H. R., & Lachman, M. (2002). Place matters: Consensual features and regional variation in American well-being and self. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(1), 160-184.

Fu, A. S., Plaut, V. C., Treadway, J. R., & Markus, H. R. (2014). Places, products, and people make each other up: Culture cycles of self and well-being. In J. Rentfrow (Ed.), Psychological Geography. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Gender & Thought

Josephs, R. A., Markus, H., & Tafarodi, R. W. (1992). Gender and self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63(1), 391-402.

Markus, H. R. & Oyserman, D. (1989). Gender and thought: The role of the self-concept. In M. Crawford & M. Gentry (Eds.),Gender and thought(pp. 100-127). New York: Springer-Verlag.

Markus, H., Crane, M., Bernstein, S., & Siladi, M. (1982). Self-schemas and gender. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42,38-50.



Reveals how a single culture clash - the clash of independence and interdependence - ignites both global hostilities and daily tensions between regions, races, genders, classes, religions, and organizations.


Doing Race

A collection of new essays by an interdisciplinary team of authors that gives a comprehensive introduction to race and ethnicity.

Facing Social Class

A team of psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, linguists, and legal scholars examine the many ways we communicate our class position to others and how social class shapes our daily interactions.

Engaging Cultural Differences

Liberal democracies are based on principles of inclusion and tolerance. But how does the principle of tolerance work in practice in countries such as Germany, France, India, South Africa, and the United States, where an increasingly wide range of cultural groups holds often contradictory beliefs about appropriate social and family life practices?

Just Schools

Noted legal scholars, educators, and social scientists examine schools with widely divergent methods of fostering equality to explore the possibilities and limits of equal education today.

Social Psychology

Distinguished by its current-events emphasis, this textbook integrates classic and contemporary research to bring the outside world into the field of social psychology.


Being Human Goes Beyond the Biological

[1 minute, 12 seconds]

Studying People in Context

[3 minutes, 33 seconds]

Our Cultures, Our Selves: The Sources of Belongingness

[1 hour, 22 minutes]

Contact Information

Hazel Rose Markus
Stanford University, Department of Psychology
Jordan Hall, Building 420
Stanford, CA 94035