Lab pic.jpg

Back row: Tyisha Griffiths, Kate O’Brien, Paige Amormino, Gandalf Nicolas, Rachel O’Connor, Ced Moise, Xuechunzi Bai

Front row: Eliana Yashgur, Qifan Jia, Sherry Wu, Susan Fiske, Lila Abreu, Carly Maitin, Trisha Datta

Not pictured: Hannah Paynter

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 reflects perceived trustworthy intent, which results from cooperation. We are studying people’s spontaneous use of warmth and competence in learning about unfamiliar groups, as well as spontaneous responses to category mash-ups.

Undergraduate thesis topics typically cover a wide range. The 2018-2019 senior theses explore moral judgments and moral leadership, overcoming stigma (toward homeless people & separately toward heavyweight people), lust and datability in cross-ethnic dating, work-life balance, and overcoming stereotype threat.