Back row: Xuechunzi Bai, Alex Koch, Nora McLaughlin, Rachel Connor, Gandalf Nicolas

Front row: David Cruikshank, Susan Fiske, Deb Daly, Cydney Dupree

In the Psychology Department at Princeton University, our research examines issues of social power and intergroup relations. We employ social psychological scientific methods, including cultural comparisons, surveys, lab experiments, and social neuroscience. Most of us love chocolate. 

Many of our current projects examine the fundamental dimensions of social cognition--warmth and competence--based on the Stereotype Content Model (SCM). Our studies test this model's predictions in both intergroup and interpersonal contexts, as well as at the extremes of objectification and dehumanization. The competence dimension results from perceived status, whose dynamics we are studying. The warmth dimension essentially judges trustworthy intent. Relatedly, we are interested in people's propensity to be intent detectors (judge what others are trying to do), and the consequences of seeing another's helpful or harmful intent. We are also studying congruent and incongruent stereotype mash-ups.

Undergraduate thesis topics typically cover a wide range. The 2016-2017 senior theses explore conformity, belonging, and consumption; neuro-ethics of conveying uncertain diagnoses about a child’s possible future mental illness; and stereotype threat for women in philosophy.