Professor Susan Fiske's lab includes graduate students, visiting scholars, and undergraduate students.

Faculty Director


Professor Susan Fiske
Curriculum Vitae

Susan T. Fiske is Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and Professor of Public Affairs, Princeton University (Ph.D., Harvard University; honorary doctorates: Université catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands; Universitat Basel, Switzerland).

Fiske publishes widely in social cognition. She has just finished a fourth edition of Social Cognition (1984, 1991, 2008, 2013, each with Taylor) on how people make sense of each other, along with the Sage Handbook of Social Cognition (2012, with Macrae) and the Sage Major Works in Social Cognition (2013).

With marketing consultant Chris Malone, she has just finished The Human Brand: How We Relate to People, Products, and Companies (2013), which shows that our over-active intent-detectors make us assess corporations as if they are indeed people.

In the academic trade market, her book, Envy Up, Scorn Down: How Status Divides Us (2011, paperback 2012), sponsored by the Guggenheim and Russell Sage Foundations, is about how we compare ourselves all the time, and the problems this makes for us as individuals, partners, students, employees, and citizens.

Currently, as a social psychologist, she investigates emotional prejudices (pity, contempt, envy, and pride) at cultural, interpersonal, and neural levels, research previously funded by the Russell Sage Foundation (2008-2010), the National Science Foundation (1984-1986, 1995-1997), the National Institutes of Health (1986-1995), and the Department of Justice (2013-2014).

She has written more than 300 articles and chapters, as well as editing many books and journal special issues. Notably, she edits the Annual Review of Psychology (with Schacter and Taylor) and the Handbook of Social Psychology (with Gilbert and Lindzey, 5e, 2010). She also wrote an upper-level integrative text, Social Beings: A Core Motives Approach to Social Psychology (2004, 2010, 2014) and edited Beyond Common Sense: Psychological Science in the Courtroom (2008, with Borgida).

She edits the Annual Review of Psychology, and she is on the Editorial Board of PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of America). In 2014, as founding Editor, she launched Policy Insights from Behavioral and Brain Sciences, a new annual from FABBS (Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences).

Fiske’s work has had real-world impact. The U.S. Supreme Court in a 1989 landmark decision on gender bias cited her expert testimony in discrimination cases. In 1998, she also testified before President Clinton’s Race Initiative Advisory Board, and in 2001-03, she co-authored a National Academy of Science, National Research Council report on Methods for Measuring Discrimination. She chaired a 2014 NAS NRC report on IRBs in the social and behavioral sciences. In 2004, she published a Science article explaining how ordinary people can torture enemy prisoners, through processes of prejudice and social influence.

In 2013, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Recently, she has also won several scientific honors: the Guggenheim Fellowship, the APA Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award, the APS William James Fellow Award, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Kurt Lewin Award, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Donald T. Campbell Award. Previously, she won the American Psychological Association’s Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest for anti-discrimination testimony and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues’ Allport Intergroup Relations Award for ambivalent sexism theory (with Glick), as well as Harvard’s Graduate Centennial Medal. She has been elected to several Presidencies: Association for Psychological Science, Federation of Associations in Brain and Behavioral Sciences, Foundation for the Advancement of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and Society for Personality and Social Psychology. She has also been elected Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the American Philosophical Society, and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Her graduate students conspired for her to win Princeton’s graduate mentoring award in 2009. She is grateful to them and to all her generous colleagues for these recognitions that each in fact reflect collaborative work. 

Her expert witness work has familiarized her with workplace discrimination in settings from shipyards and assembly lines to international investment firms, and she has served on diversity committees in several nonprofit settings, including Princeton’s Carl A. Fields Center. She grew up in Chicago’s Hyde Park (Obama’s neighborhood!), a stable, racially integrated community, and she still wonders why the rest of the world does not work that way. She now lives in Princeton and Vermont with her sociologist husband Doug Massey, with treasured visits by daughter, stepdaughter, stepson, and his family.  

Click to view Professor Fiske's Psychology Department page, Woodrow Wilson School page, and Amazon author page.


Graduate Students

Primary Advisees


Courtney Bearns

A native of Southern California, Courtney earned her undergraduate degree from Williams College in 2007, under the direction of Dr. Steven Fein. She most recently worked with Drs. Geoff Cohen, Julio Garcia, and Valerie Purdie-Vaughns at Columbia University on "Project Achieve," a longitudinal stereotype threat intervention project. Courtney is currently a third year student in the lab. Her research looks broadly at the effects of social class on success in a variety of domains, ultimately with an emphasis on potential interventions to help ameliorate the negative effects of status anxiety. 

Courtney's research looks broadly at the effects of social class on success in a variety of domains, ultimately with an emphasis on potential interventions to help ameliorate the negative effects of status anxiety. 


Pam Mueller

Pam is a fifth-year student from Chicago. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Loyola University Chicago and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Her work is broadly aimed at the intersection of law and psychology, particularly issues related to intentionality, morality, and legal consequences. Before joining the Fiske Lab, she worked with John Darley on research regarding the effect of different types and amounts of knowledge on perceptions of intentionality. Her current work addresses differences in perceived justice and perceived intentionality when a harm-doer faces criminal and/or civil consequences. Pam occasionally gets distracted from research by shiny things like gymnastics apparatuses, trivia contests, and roles in community theatre productions. 

Pam's work is broadly aimed at the intersection of law and psychology, particularly issues related to intentionality, morality, and legal consequences. Her current work addresses differences in perceived justice and perceived intentionality when a harm-doer faces criminal and/or civil consequences. 


Jillian Swencionis

Curriculum Vitae

Jillian is a fourth-year student in the lab studying how people manage social interactions across social status divides. In her undergraduate thesis at Harvard, she investigated how we misperceive others' memory, expecting others to recall events that only later became important. After a brief stint working as a management consultant in New York City, Jillian returned to the research world, studying intergroup behavior and social neuroscience at New York University before starting graduate school. A proud native New Jerseyan, Jillian will defend her home state to the finish (while embodying some NJ stereotypes but not others). 

Jillian's research focuses on how social status affects interpersonal interactions. In particular, her current work investigates the social goals and concerns that emerge from upward and downward social comparisons.


Cydney Dupree

Cydney is a third-year graduate student from Maryland. She received her B.A. in psychology from Brown University, where she wrote her honors thesis under the direction of Dr. Bertram Malle examining visual perspective taking -- the difficult task of seeing things from another’s point of view. Before joining the Fiske lab, she worked for a year at Brown University as research assistant at Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (CAAS) and as lab manager of the Social Cognitive Science Research Center (SCSRC). Cydney enjoys reading, gymming, Netflix-ing, and devising excuses to visit the local Trader Joes.

Cydney is broadly interested in the impact of social exclusion on identity development, social perception, and group processes. As part of the Fiske Lab, she will likely explore causes and implications of failed perspective-taking.


Pan (Rachel) Hu

Rachel is a second-year graduate student who comes from Singapore, the country where people speak English at work, order their food in Mandarin, and sing their national anthem in Malay. Rachel received her B.A. in psychology from UCLA, where she explored how culture affects the way we perceive and seek help under the direction of Dr. Shelley Taylor. After graduation, she worked for a year in a neuroimaging lab at Stanford, learning about emotions and decision-making. Rachel is broadly interested in the relationship between intergroup perceptions and affect, as well as how they affect decision making and judgment.

Rachel is broadly interested in the relationship between intergroup perceptions and affect, as well as how they affect decision making and judgment.


Secondary Advisees


Rachel Connor

Rachel comes to Princeton from Tennessee State University, where she graduated with highest honors in psychology. As an undergraduate research assistant under the direction of Dr. Lara Ault, she examined how status within a romantic relationship influences cognition and affective behavior. Through her involvement in this research, Rachel developed a deep interest in understanding factors that contribute to gender inequality.

At Princeton, Rachel is currently examining how being objectified affects how women are perceived, with the aim of identifying factors that reduce the negative effects of sexual objectification. She is also exploring the relationship between benevolent sexism and acceptance of gender inequality.




Takehiko Ito

Takehiko is an exchange student from Japan. He is a fifth year graduate student at the University of Tokyo, working with Dr. Kaori Karasawa. As an undergraduate student majoring in American Literature at Keio University, he focused on the works of Mark Twain. Since then he has been interested in prejudice and intergroup conflict. When he was child, his dream was to be a baseball player; now he is enthusiastic about enjoying Major League games in U.S. stadiums.

Takehiko’s resent research focuses on intergroup inequality. His experiments examine intergroup behavior and policy attitude among job applicants when there is inequality among universities. While in the Fiske Lab, he hopes to explore the cultural differences of job applicants’ perceptions between the U.S. and Japan.


Saori Tsukamoto

Saori is a 4th-year visiting graduate student from Japan. Saori wrote her honors thesis about the perception of ethnic boundaries and received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Victoria, Canada. At Nagoya University, she is working on her doctoral dissertation about an intuitive theory of social categories called “psychological essentialism” and hopes to extend this research at Princeton. She enjoys exploring cafés, so she is looking forward to finding a comfy café in Princeton.


Saori’s work is broadly aimed at lay perceptions of persons and categories and their consequences for attitudes. Concerns about the rigidity of intuitive theories, dehumanization, and psychological essentialism are her current research interests. She also conducts cross-cultural research on intuitive perceptions and theories.



Undergraduate Students


Senior Theses 2014-2015:

Allison Evans: Assessing Threat to Students' Academic Performance
Brie Gilbert: Impressions of Strangers with Mental Illness
Alvina Jiao: Exploring Selection Behavior and Intragroup Perceptions Among Asian American Students
Sarah Liang: Either Here or There: Perceptions of Polycultural People
Lina Saud: Opinions about Muslim Social Groups
Pamela Soffer: The Mobile Dating Era: Relationship Goals and Expectations

Senior Theses 2013-2014:

Shiro Kuriwaki: Exchange, Private, and Communal Framing of Pensions: Mental Models and Beneficiary Perception Drive Pension Policy Endorsement
Adam Mastronianni: DANGER, JOKING HAZARD: Humor, Norms, and Impression Management
Kevin McKee: Part of the Problem, or Part of the Solution? Attributions of Responsibility and Decisions to Help Drug Addicts
David Munguia Gomez: Their Sincerity, Not My Certainty: Effect of Visual Transparency on Perceived Truthfulness
Obianuju Obioha: Doctor or Dishwasher?  The Intersection of Class and Race in Implicit and Explicit Attitudes toward Black American

Senior Theses 2012-2013:

Elizabeth Cai: Ethnic Identity and Perception of Asian American Stereotypes in Chinese American Children
Olubanke Martins: The Effects of Narrative Persuasion on Civic-Mindedness
Nana Yaa Nimo: Socioeconomic Indicators of Benevolent Sexism Endorsement: A Global and Statewide Analysis

Senior Theses 2011-2012

Catherine Bachur: Ethnic Role-Congruency with an Environment Determines Perceived Competence
Sara Chehrehsa: Crimes, Criminals, and Stereotypes: Perceptions of Warmth and Competence
Jennifer Wu: Blaming the Victim: An fMRI Study on How Perceptions of Fault Influence Empathy for People with Disabilities