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

Faculty Director

Professor Susan T. 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; Universidad de Granada, Spain).

Fiske publishes widely in social cognition. She has just finished a fifth edition of Social Cognition (1984, 1991, 2008, 2013, 2017, 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). Recently, she published Social Cognition: Selected Work of Susan T. Fiske (2018).

With marketing consultant Chris Malone, she wrote 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 400 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).

Besides editing the Annual Review of Psychology, 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. She has also won several scientific honors: the Guggenheim Fellowship, the APA Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award, the APS William James Fellow Award, the European Federation's Wundt-James 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, and her inernational colleagues aranged for her to win the Mentoring Award from the Association for Psychological Science in 2016. 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

Gandalf Nicolas

Gandalf is a fourth-year Psychology graduate student. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in the Dominican Republic and a master’s in psychology from the College of William & Mary. As an undergraduate and master’s student, his research explored prejudice and national identity in Latin America, and perceptions of mixed-race individuals.

His current research deals with the content of stereotypes that are spontaneously applied to social groups. In the process of studying this topic he has developed novel methods and adapted techniques from the field of natural language processing to analyze open-ended responses. Current and future projects include explorations of spontaneous stereotyping across cultures and contexts, adversarial collaborations to explore moderators of the use of the content dimensions proposed by various stereotype content models, studies on the effect of multiple categorization on stereotyping, as well as projects on bias in machine learning and science communication.

Xuechunzi Bai

Bai is a first-year graduate student coming from China. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in social science in education from the University of Tokyo in Japan. She worked as a research assistant in the Monteith Intergroup relations and inclusion laboratory at Purdue University and in the Fiske Lab at Princeton University before starting her Ph.D.

Bai's current projects focus on societal structure and stereotyping. How do contextual factors (inequality, conflict, diversity, social norms, etc) influence group perceptions and social categorization? What are the mechanisms?

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.


Qifan Jia


Undergraduate Students

Senior Thesis 2015-2016 (sabbatical year):

Malena de la Fuenta: Intergroup Bias along Multiple Dimensions

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