Skip to main content

Guest lecturer to discuss psychology of white nationalism at annual colloquium

Share on:

Posted on Thursday, April 11, 2024

Dr. Christine Reyna of DePaul University will discuss the rise of white nationalism in America at Westminster College’s annual Psychology and Neuroscience Colloquium at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18, in the Witherspoon Rooms of Westminster’s McKelvey Campus Center.

In her lecture “The Psychology of White Nationalism in the USA: Racial Nostalgia, Aggrieved Entitlement, and the Co-Opting of Sacred Values,” Reyna will discuss some of her lab’s research that examines the underlying psychology of white nationalism and why it is becoming more violent yet also mainstream.

“The rise in white nationalist ideology is the number one source of domestic terrorism in America,” according to Reyna, whose talk will focus on the themes of racial nostalgia, aggrieved entitlement and the use of sacred values to legitimize extremism—especially patriotism.

“We make the case that racial extremists extol the talents and virtues of white people and idolize and romanticize a former white-dominated America, while simultaneously condemning and demonizing the current state of America for white people,” she said. “This fundamentally ambivalent ideology contributes to a dangerous psychology of aggrieved entitlement and a distorted sense of injustice that extremist ideologies promise to restore at the expense of minoritized groups and even our democracy.”

Reyna, who earned her Ph.D. in social psychology from UCLA, is a professor of psychology at DePaul University where she is the founder of the Social and Intergroup Perceptions Lab. Her research examines how individuals and groups leverage group identity, stereotypes, values and moral framing to legitimize discrimination, systems of oppression and ideological extremism.

As a Latina scholar, Reyna is also committed to including the voices and experiences of marginalized populations in her research and takes a multicultural, multidisciplinary approach to her research.

The Psychology and Neuroscience Colloquium—established by two Westminster College psychology emeriti professors Dr. David B. Gray ’56 and Dr. Alan G. Gittis—allows Westminster to further immerse undergraduates in the rigorous fields of psychology and neuroscience. Selected speakers will discuss the best emerging research and breakthroughs being done on a national level.

Gray was a member of the Westminster faculty from 1965-2003, while Gittis served from 1976-2011.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information about the colloquium, please contact Dr. Sherri Pataki, professor of psychology, at 724-946-7361 or

For more about Westminster’s psychology program, please visit