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Mica Estrada, Ph.D.

Mica Estrada, Ph.D.

Research Faculty

Office: SBSB 3133A

Mica Estrada, Ph.D.

Dr. Mica Estrada received her Ph.D. (1997) in Social Psychology from Harvard University.  Her area of expertise is social influence, including the study of identity, forgiveness, intergroup relations, and integrative education. Currently she is Research Faculty at California State University, San Marcos. Working with Dr. Wesley Schultz (PI), Dr. Estrada (co-PI) is conducting a National Institutes of Health longitudinal, theory-driven evaluation of minority science training programs.  Her recent publication from this study assessed how a student’s orientation towards the scientific community predicts their perseverance in and commitment to that social community. In addition, she is currently co-PI on a National Science Foundation Climate Change Education Partnership grant that provides educational tools and learning opportunities to San Diego regional leaders and residents regarding the changing climate. She also remains active in her local community promoting the Quince Project for Latina teens. A common characteristic of Dr. Estrada’s work is designing and empirically testing interventions that can change individual behavior, social norms, and community consciousness. 


Harvard University,  Cambridge, MA.

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Psychology.  Graduation, June 1997.

Dissertation Title.  Forgiving in a world of rights and wrongs:  Victims' and perpetrators' roles in resolving conflict through forgiveness

Committee:   Prof. Herbert C. Kelman (advisor), Prof. Todd Heatherton, Prof. Nalini Ambady, Prof. Brendan Maher, Prof. Shep White, and Prof. J. Richard Hackman (chair)

University of California at Berkeley,  Berkeley, CA.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  Graduated with Scholarly Distinction, 1989.  Minor Concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Lancaster University,  Lancaster, England

Attended as an education abroad student, 1987-88.


Throughout Dr. Estrada's graduate and postdoctoral career, her primary research focus has been on identity and social influence.  Her current research projects utilize the Tripartite Integration Model of Social Influence (TIMSI) to better understand human integration into social communities and how this impacts behavior, intention, emotion and well-being.  This builds on the Dr. Herbert C. Kelman's theory of social influence (1958, 2006).

Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Working with Dr. Wesley Schultz (PI), Dr. Estrada (co-PI) is conducting a National Institutes of Health longitudinal,theory-driven evaluation of the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) program with over 1400 participants from 50 collaborating campuses across the country.  RISE provides monetary support, training, rese 09012009" type="text/javascript"> arch experience, mentoring, and graduate school preparation for minority college students in the biomedical sciences.  This longitudinal study assesses the benefits of the RISE expe =6_2_1-09012009" type="text/javascript"> rience for both undergraduate and graduate students.  A recent publication from this study asse ascade/langs/en.js?v=6_2_1-09012009" type="text/javascript"> ssed how a person¿s orientation towards science community predicts their perseverance and commitment to a scientific career (Estrada-Hollenbeck et al., 2010).  Researchers on this project include Paul Hernandez, Anna Woodcock and Maria Aguilar. This project is also in collaboration with the Office of Biomedical Research and Training at CSUSM, and with the Survey Research Lab and Kent State University. For more information, visit

Climate Change Education Partnership Project
Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)

In September of 2010, we began phase 1 of the Climate Change Education Partnership in San Diego.  Phase II began in 2012.  As co-PI, I am partnering with climate change scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and USD, policy experts from the Energy Policy Initiative Center at USD, strategic community planners from The San Diego Foundation and a strategic communication expert from The Steve Alexander Group to create a educational strategy that will communicate and engage diverse communities in a productive dialogue around the impacts of climate change on a region.  Drawing on social influence theory, the specific objective is to develop an educational approach that shifts efficacy, identity and values regarding climate change, resulting in long term shifts in behaviors that mitigate climate change and adapt when necessary.  To engage diverse communities in San Diego, the local CCEP team will work closely with the a broad spectrum of community leaders to develop a communication program that reflect the views, values and perspectives of the region's political and business leaders and various other organizations including the Hispanic/Latino, real estate development, faith-based, and tribal communities.  This project is about developing action plans that will benefit the region by promoting responses to climate change and its impacts on public health, water quality and supply, natural lands and other key areas. 

For more information, go to

Identity Alignment and Well-Being Project
Independent research program.

This research project explores how alignment between personal identity and social identity (i.e., the role the community assigns to a person) relates to stress, health, and well-being.  Preliminary results show that greater alignment is associated with better health and well-being and that this relationship is mediated by stress.  We are currently running a series of studies to better understand how alignment relates to other outcomes including productivity, effectiveness in academics and work setting, and overall satisfaction with life. 

Social Psychological Approach to Forgiveness

Description pending.


Dr. Estrada will not be teaching in the fall of 2013.



Estrada, M., Woodcock, A. & Schultz, P. W. (under review).  Tailored panel management: A theory-based approach to building and maintaining participant commitment to a longitudinal study.

Hernandez, P. R., Schultz, P. W., Estrada, M., Chance, R. C., & Woodcock, A. (in press). Sustaining optimal achievement goals among underrepresented students in the sciences: A longitudinal growth curve analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology.


Woodcock, A., Hernandez, P. R., Estrada, M., & Schultz, P.W. (2012). The consequences of chronic stereotype threat: Domain disidentification and abandonment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Estrada, M., Woodcock, A., Hernandez, P., & Schultz, P. W. (2011). Toward a social influence model that explains minority student integration into the scientific community. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103, 206-222.


Schultz, P. W., Hernandez, P., Woodcock, A., Estrada, M., Chance, R., Aguilar, M., & Serpe, R. (2011). Patching the pipeline: Reducing educational disparities in the sciences through minority training programs. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 33, 95-114.   

Schultz, P. W., & Estrada-Hollenbeck, M. (2008).  The U.S.E. of theory in applied social psychology.  In Steg, L., Buunk, A. P., & Rothengatter, J. A. (Eds.).  Applied social psychology: Understanding and managing social problems. Cambridge University Press.


Estrada-Hollenbeck, M.  (2001). The subjective road to reconciliation:  The attainment of justice through restoration not litigation. In M. Abu-Nimer (Ed.), Reconciliation, coexistence, and justice in interethnic conflict: Theory and practice (pp. 65-86).   NY: Roman & Littlefield.

Estrada-Hollenbeck, M., & Heatherton, T. (1998).  Avoiding and alleviating guilt through prosocial behavior.  In J. Bybee (Ed.), Guilt and children (pp. 215-231).  San Diego, CA:  Academic Press.

Estrada-Hollenbeck, M. (1996).  Forgiving in the face of injustice:  Victims' and perpetrators' perspectives.  In B. Galaway and J. Hudson (Eds.), Restorative Justice:  International Perspectives (pp.  303-314). Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press.

Estrada M., Lee, F., & Brown, J. (1995).  Who gets the credit?  A study of idiosyncrasy credit.  Small Group Research26, 56-76. 

Estrada, M. (1994).  Understanding Forgiveness.  Interaction, (6)1, 3-4. 





Estrada, M., Messina, A., & Schultz, P.W., (July, 2012).  Integrating Citizens into a Community that Engages in Climate Change Mitigation Behaviors.  Presented at the International Congress of Psychology, Cape Town, South Africa.  

Estrada, M., Hernandez, P. R., Woodcock, A., & Schultz, P. W. (May, 2012).  I can, I am, I believe, and so, I’ll stay:  Charting underrepresented student integration into the scientific community. Presented at the 5th Annual Conference on Understanding Interventions that Broaden Participation in Research Careers, Baltimore, MD.

Estrada, M., Messina, A., Schmitt, J., & Schultz, P.W., (January, 2012).  I know, I am, I do:  Climate change knowledge and social influence among San Diego leaders. Poster presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Pre-Conference on Sustainable Behavior, San Diego, CA.

Estrada, M., Woodcock, A. & Schultz, P. W. (2011, May).  Tailored panel management: A theory-based approach to building and maintaining participant commitment to a longitudinal study. Presented at the Association for Institutional Research Annual Forum, Toronto, Canada.

Estrada, M. & Schultz, P. W. (2011, January).  The Science Study:  A longitudinal evaluation of RISE.  Paper presented at the Modeling the Scientific Workforce Meeting, Washington D.C.

Estrada-Hollenbeck, M., DiCaianni, W. & Schultz, P. W. (2010). The role of normative feedback in water conservation messaging.  Paper presented at the American Psychological Association, August 2010, San Diego, CA.

Estrada-Hollenbeck, M., Schultz, P. W., Karoub, K., Hazen, C. & DiCaianni, W. (2010). Does increasing awareness promote changes in behavior?  A study of injunctive normative influence on littering behavior.  Paper presented at the International Congress of Applied Psychology, July 2010, Melbourne, Australia.

Estrada-Hollenbeck, M., Woodcock, A., Merolla, D, & Schultz, P. W. (2009).  The use of propensity scores in a longitudinal science study of minority biomedical research support from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.  Paper presented at the American Evaluation Association, November 2009, Orlando, FL.

Woodcock, A. & Estrada-Hollenbeck, M. (2009).Promoting Diversity: People and Things, Social Influence, and the Motivation to Persist.  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting for the Study of Motivation, May 2009, San Francisco, CA.

Estrada-Hollenbeck, M, Woodcock, A. & Schultz, P. W. (2008).  A leaky pipeline?  Minority student integration into the scientific community.  Paper presented at Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Conference, June 2008, Chicago, IL.

Estrada-Hollenbeck, M, Woodcock, A. & Schultz, P. W. (2008).  Mentors make a difference:  Evidence form a longitudinal study of minority training programs.  Paper presented at 2nd Annual Conference on Understanding Interventions that Encourage Minorities to Pursue Research Careers, May 2008, Atlanta, GA.

Estrada-Hollenbeck, M. (2001). The ease and difficulty of attaining peace with justice:  Report from a bi-national youth symposium. Paper presented at the International Society for Political Psychology, July 2001, Mexico City, Mexico.

Estrada-Hollenbeck, M.  (1999).  The subjective road to reconciliation:  The attainment of justice through restoration not arbitration.  Presented at the Promoting Justice and Peace through Reconciliation and Coexistence Alternatives Conference, February 1999, Washington D.C.

Estrada-Hollenbeck, M., Morrison, S., & Rouhana, N. (1994).  Assessing conflict cognitive complexity of participants in an Israeli and Palestinian problem solving workshop.  Research presented at the Program on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution Research Seminar, January 1995, Cambridge, MA. 

Estrada-Hollenbeck, M. (1994).  The affective components of forgiveness.  Paper presented at Moral Re-armament Symposium, November 1994, Cambridge, MA. 

Estrada-Hollenbeck, M. (1994).  How do groups forgive?  Research presented at Program on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution Research Seminar,  March 1994, Cambridge, MA. 

Estrada, M., Brown, J., & Lee, F. (1993). Who gets the credit:  A study of idiosyncrasy credit.  Paper presented at Academy of Management Conference, May 1993, Providence, RI. 

Estrada, M., Weisberg, W. & Ambady, N. (1992).  Power asymmetry:  Effects on perception and recall.  Paper presented at the International Society for Political Psychology, July 1992, San Francisco, USA.

Estrada, M. & Sadat, C. (1992).  Relevance of forgiveness for an international political figure.  Presented at John F. Kennedy School of Government, April 1992, Cambridge, MA.