What If Psychology Took Intersectionality Seriously? Changing How Psychologists Think About Participants

Kaitlin McCormick-Huhn, Leah R. Warner, Isis H. Settles, Stephanie A. Shields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Using intersectionality to change how psychologists think about the demographic profile of their participants is one readily available change that psychologists across the discipline can implement to improve psychological science. In this article, we aim to provide a guide for psychologists who are not already engaged with feminist practices and/or are unsure of how an intersectional approach to participants applies to their research. We argue that by engaging with four perspective shifts of intersectional thinking: multidimensionality, dynamic construction, structural power, and outcomes of systemic disadvantage and advantage, psychologists can more accurately represent the “person” that psychology, as a discipline, seeks to understand. We suggest changes at the researcher, journal, and grant-making agency levels to support an intersectional reconceptualization of participants. As psychology continues to change, in order to foster reproducible science practices and research with relevance to real-world problems, there is opportunity to promote discipline-level change that would take intersectionality seriously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-456
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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