Martin Day

B.Sc. (Hons) Dalhousie University, Ph.D. University of Waterloo
Postdoctoral Princeton University, Harvard University

Assistant Professor

Office: SN2073
Phone: (709) 864-7667
Research Lab:
Google Scholar:
Affiliations: Social


Research Interests:


Martin Day



I study Societal Cognition. That is, I’m interested in how people make sense of societal problems and societal arrangements, and how people’s psychological reactions to societal conditions can have downstream effects on individuals. For example, when faced with societal problems, why don’t more people protest or actively attempt to change the system? One reason is that people are motivated to maintain the status quo and perceive it as fair, just, and legitimate. This is a major barrier to societal change. That said, there are limits to this motive, and research on societal cognition can provide insight into how to effectively engage in system change. My research on societal cognition spans a variety of topics and issues such as social and economic inequality, social mobility, ideology, decision making, and well-being. More information can be found on my Societal Cognition Lab website.

I also have secondary research and teaching interests in the application of behavioral insights from psychology (including “Nudges”) to improve programs, policies, and people’s everyday experiences.



I’m from Halifax, Nova Scotia. I completed my B.Sc. in psychology at Dalhousie University, and my Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of Waterloo. My Ph.D. supervisor was Dr. Michael Ross. I was a Postdoctoral Researcher for two years at Princeton University where I conducted research with Dr. Susan Fiske and taught psychology for public policy students. I also spent a year as a College Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, where I was a member of Dr. Fiery Cushman’s Morality lab and taught psychology for undergraduate students. I joined the Department of Psychology at Memorial University in September 2015.

Select Publications:

Day, M. V., Kay, A. C., Holmes, J. G., & Napier, J. L. (2011). System justification and the defense of committed relationship ideology. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 291-306.

Day, M. V., & Ross, M. (2011). The value of remorse: How drivers’ responses to police predict fines for speeding. Law and Human Behavior, 35, 221-234.

Kay, A. C., Day, M. V., Zanna, M. P., & Nussbaum, A. D. (2013). The insidious (and ironic) effects of positive stereotypes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 287-291.

Day, M. V., & Bobocel, D. R. (2013). The weight of a guilty conscience: Subjective body weight as an embodiment of guilt. PLoS ONE, 8, 1-7.

Day, M. V., & Ross, M. (2014). Predicting confidence in flashbulb memories. Memory, 22, 232-242.

Blatz, C. W., Day, M. V., & Schryer, E. (2014). Official public apology effects on victim group members’ evaluations of the perpetrator group. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 46, 337-345.

Day, M. V., Fiske, S. T., Downing, E. L., & Trail, T. E. (2014). Shifting liberal and conservative attitudes using moral foundations theory. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 1559-1573.



230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000