Sam G. McFarland
Professor Emeritus
Department of Psychology

Western Kentucky University 
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Phone: 1-270-745-4408
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 1971

Social Psychology and Human Rights

Career Summary:

I joined the WKU faculty in the fall of 1971, fresh out of graduate school. I officially retired in 2003, but continued teaching part-time through 2013. My main teaching was in social psychology and personality, and occasionally the psychology of religion. While serving as Director of our University Honors Program (1990-1998), I began an honors seminar entitled Understanding Human Rights, which I taught through 2013.

In recent years, my research and writing have focused on human rights. Earlier, my research focused on prejudice, authoritarianism, and the psychology of religion.

During my career, I was privileged to serve as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in the former Soviet Union (1989) and as President of the International Society of Political Psychology (2009-2010). In 1999, I was honored to be named a WKU Distinguished University Professor.


Recent Publications:

McFarland, S.G. (2016). Architects of the Universal Declaration: Eleanor Roosevelt, Charles Malik, Peng-chun Zhang, John Humphrey, and Renê Cassin. Chaoyang Law Review, 12, 296-312 (Chinese language journal)

McFarland, S. G. (2016): The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Tribute to Its Architects, Public Integrity. Online at:

McFarland, S.G. (2016). Identification with all humanity: The antithesis of prejudice, and more. In S. G. Sibley & F, K. Barlow (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook on the Psychology of Prejudice (pp. 632-654). New York: Cambridge University Press.

McFarland, S.G. & Hamer, K. (2016). Jak Ludobơjstwo Zostalo Uznane Za Zbrodine – Dziedzictwo Rafala Lemkina (How Genocide Became a Crime: Legacy of Raphael Lemkin) Civatas et Lex, 2, 69-84. (Polish language journal).

McFarland, S. G. (2016). Integrating the Teaching of Psychology with Concern for Human Rights. Psychology Teacher Network. Online at

McFarland, S.G. & Hornsby, W. (2015). An analysis of five measures of global human identification. European Journal of Social Psychology, 45, 806-817.

McFarland, S.G. (2015). Culture, Individual Differences, and Support for Human Rights: A General Review. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 21, 10-17.

McFarland, S.G. (2015). Human Rights 101: A College Level Overview. (PDF)

McFarland, S.G. (2014). Ending genocide and creating human rights: Exploring the visionary leadership of Raphael Lemkin and Eleanor Roosevelt. International Journal for Leadership and Change, 2, 28-38.

McFarland, S.G. (2014). A Very Brief Overview of Modern Human Rights. Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities. (PDF)

McFarland, S, Brown, D., & Webb, M. (2013). "Identification with All Humanity" as a Moral Concept and Psychological Construct. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22, 192-196.(PDF)

McFarland, S. G., Webb, M., & Brown, D. (2012). All humanity is my ingroup: A measure and studies of Identification with all humanity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103, 830-853.

McFarland, S. G. (2011). Support for Humanitarian Military Intervention. In D. J. Christie (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

McFarland, S. G. (2011). Presidential address: The slow creation of humanity. Political Psychology, 32, 1-20.

McFarland, S. G. (2010). Personality and support for universal human rights: A review and test of a structural model. Journal of Personality, 78, 1735-1763.

McFarland, S. (2010) Authoritarianism, social dominance, and other roots of generalized prejudice. Political Psychology, 31, 425-449.

McFarland, S. G., & Carnahan, T. (2009). A situation's first powers are attracting volunteers and selecting participants: A reply to Haney and Zimbardo (2009). Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 815-818.

McFarland, S. & Brown, D. (2008). Who Believes that Identification with all Humanity is Ethical? Psicologia Politica, 36, 37-49.

McFarland, S. (with coauthors, Thalhammer, K, O’Loughlin, P., Glazser, M., Glazer, P., Shapela, S., & Stoltzfus, N.). (2007). Courageous Resistance: The Power of Ordinary People. Palgrave/McMillan.

Carnahan, T. & McFarland, S. G. (2007).  Revisiting the Stanford Prison Experiment: Could Participant Self-Selection have led to the cruelty?  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 603-614.

McFarland, S. G. & Mathews, M. (2005).  Do Americans care about human rights? Journal of Human Rights, 4, 305-319. (PDF)

McFarland, S. G. & Mathews, M.  (2005).  Who cares about human rights?  Political Psychology, 26, 365-385

McFarland, S. G. (2005). On the eve of war: Authoritarianism, social dominance, and American students' support for attacking Iraq. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 360-367.

Cai, H., Sriram, N., Greenwald, T., & McFarland, S. G. (2004). The Implicit Association Test's D measure can minimize a cognitive skill confound: Comment on McFarland and Crouch (2002).  Social Cognition, 22, 673-684. (PDF)

McFarland, S. G. (2003). The effects of authoritarianism and social dominance upon American students' attitudes toward attacking Iraq. Psicologia Politica, 27, 119-130.

McFarland, S. G. & Crouch, Z.  (2002).  A cognitive skill confound on the Implicit Association Test.  Social Cognition, 20, 483-506. (PDF)

McFarland, S. G. (2000).  Autoritarismus und die Entwicklung eines demokratischen Bewußtseins in Russland (Authoritarianism and the Development of Democratic Consciousness in Russia).  In  Rippl, S., C. Seipel, C., & A. Kindervater (Eds.). Kontroversen und Ansaetze der aktuellen Autoritarismusforschung (Controversies and Approaches in Authoritarianism Research Today).  Opladen, Germany: Leske Bundrich.   Pp. 173-197.

McFarland, S. G.   (1999).  The development of aggression in childhood: Recent American studies.  Innovatseonnaya Shkola (School Innovations), 34, 99-109.  (Russian language journal).

McFarland, S. G. (1998). Communism as religion. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 8, 33-48.

McFarland, S. G., Ageyev, V. S., & Djintcharadze, N. (1996). Russian authoritarianism two years after communism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22,  210-217.

McFarland, S. G. (1996). Keeping the faith: The role of non-rational processes in maintaining religious beliefs. In D. A. Stout & J. A. Buddenbaum (Eds.), Religion and the Mass Media: Audiences and Adaptations (pp. 173-182). Sage.

Ageyev, V. S. & McFarland, S. G. (1995). The Authoritarian Personality. In A. Petrovsky, M. Yarochevski, & A. Korenko (Eds.). Russian Encyclopedia of Psychology. Moscow: Nauka Press.

McFarland, S. G. (1994). ACT scores do predict academic success. The National Honors Report, 15, 8-12.

McFarland, S. G., Ageyev, V. S., & Abalakina, M. (1993). The authoritarian personality in the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R.: comparative studies. In Stone, W.F., Lederer, G. & Christie, R. (Eds.). Strengths and weaknesses: The authoritarian personality today. New York: Springer-Verlag.

McFarland, S. G., Ageyev, V. S., & Abalakina-Paap, M. (1992). Authoritarianism in the former Soviet Union. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 1004-1010.

McFarland, S. G. & Warren, J. (1992). Religious orientations and selective exposure among fundamentalist Christians. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 31, 163-174.

Ageyev, V. S., Abalakina, M. A. & McFarland, S. G. (1990). Avtoritarnaya lichnost v Ssha I SSSR [Authoritarian personality in the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R.]. Chelovek, (6), 110-118.


Last Modified:  March 30, 2015

Copyright: Since 1998, Sam McFarland

For comments or questions:


Western Kentucky University Home page | Department of Psychology