Steve Rathje

Steve Rathje

Psychology Postdoctoral Researcher


Steve studies intergroup conflict, the spread of (mis)information, and how these topics interact with digital technologies, such as social media and artificial intelligence.

Some of his work has focused on how social media incentivizes the creation of polarizing content, why we believe in and spread misinformation or why people share content that they say they do not like. He has also explored the relationship between social media usage and vaccine hesitancy or the psychological effects of attending live theatre. His current work focuses on how the impact of social media differs around the globe, and how we can use recent advances in artificial intelligence to improve methods in psychological science.

Steve is a postdoctoral researcher in Psychology at New York University in the Social Identity and Morality Lab. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge (Trinity College), where he was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Previously, he studied Psychology and Symbolic Systems at Stanford University.

He has published in journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Nature Human Behavior, Science Advances, Psychological Science, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Annual Review of Psychology, Perspectives on Psychological Science, PNAS Nexus, Nature Communications, Current Opinion in Psychology the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and more. His research has been covered by outlets such as the New York Times, BBC, NBC, CBS Sixty Minutes, the Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, and the Freakonomics podcast.

He has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the Templeton World Charity Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Center for the Science of Moral Understanding, the AE Foundation, the Center for the Science of Moral Understanding, Google, Cambridge, and NYU. He was recently named an APS “Rising Star,” and his thesis was awarded the Psychology of Technology Dissertation Fellowship and was a finalist for the SESP dissertation award.

Steve is also very interested in science communication, and has written articles for outlets such as the Washington Post, the Guardian, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and Psychology Today. He also makes science communication TikToks under the name @stevepsychology, and has more than 1 million TikTok followers.

Steve is currently leading an international collaboration testing the causal impact of social media usage around the world. This is a collaboration with hundreds of researchers residing in 76 countries that has has received $1.5 million in grant funding from the National Science Foundation, the Templeton World Charity Foundation, and NYU. You can learn more about this collaboration here:

Download Steve’s CV.

You can contact Steve at

  • Psychology of Technology
  • Intergroup Conflict
  • Computational Social Science
  • Social Media
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • PhD Psychology, 2022

    University of Cambridge

  • BA in Psychology, Minor in Symbolic Systems, 2018

    Stanford University

Recent Publications

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(2023). How social identity shapes conspiratorial belief. Current Opinion in Psychology.


(2023). The Costs of Polarizing a Pandemic: Antecedents, Consequences, and Lessons. Perspectives on Psychological Science (In Press).


(2023). Toolbox of interventions against online misinformation and manipulation. Psyarchiv.


(2023). Individual-level solutions may support system-level change–if they are internalized as part of one’s social identity. Behaviorial and Brain Sciences (In Press).


(2023). Social and moral psychology of COVID-19 across 69 countries. Nature Scientific Data.