Aliza Luft

Assistant Professor

Contact Information

Email    aluft@soc.ucla.edu
Office  291 Haines Hall
Phone  310-206-2724
My research focuses on the causes and consequences of violence, moral judgment and decision-making, and social and behavioral boundary processes.

These interests are reflected in my current book project as well as my published papers and ongoing research. First, I study wartime defection, or how people shift stances from support for state violence to resistance and saving behaviors within the same violent episode. Second, I investigate the relationship between social boundaries and political behaviors, with a specific interest in how racial, ethnic, and religious cleavages inform and are transformed by extreme violence such as genocide. Third, I analyze the relationship between cognition and perception at the micro-level of decision-making on violence. Here, I focus on how timing influences cognitive adaptation to violence and how shifts in social perception mediate this process. 


Ph.D., Sociology, University of Wisconsin - Madison (Ph.D. Minor in Political Science).

M.S., Sociology, University of Wisconsin - Madison.

M.A., Education, University of California-Berkeley.

B.A., Sociology, History, Religion, Bates College, Lewiston, ME.