SOCIAL PERCEPTION LAB
(last updated, 7/16)
ourselves The Social Perception Lab (SPL) because nearly all
of our research once addressed how people think about,
understand, judge, evaluate, and perceive other people
("Social" -- about people; "perception" -- perceiving,
inferring, understanding; "lab" -- we get data on these things
rather than merely spouting opinions). FOR A SUMMARY OF WORK
COMPLETED IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, GO TO
MY BIO PAGE (The second half of my bio focuses largely
on research conducted in the last few years). And we are
still doing this work. But much of my recent and current
work focuses on various issues of scientific integrity, see
in progress and selected
publications pages for more details.
Go to my Congratulations
Page! for news about recent students' successes and
FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT WORK CURRENTLY IN
TO MY WORK IN PROGRESS PAGE PAGE
The SPL is located in room 301 Tillett Hall on
CURRENT GRAD STUDENTS
Rachel Rubinstein: Implicit
and explicit stereotyping and person perception.
Nick Fox: Scientific integrity.
Akeela Careem: Social perception and scientific integrity.
Nate Honeycutt: Political psychology, political bias,
SELECT SOCIAL PERCEPTION LAB
Stephanie Anglin, currently a postdoctoral research
at Carnegie Mellon University. Science
Daily coverage of Stephanie's work.
Elizabeth Salib, PhD 2014. Research
Sean Stevens, PhD 2013. Research Director, NYU-Stern
School of Business.
Florette Cohen, PhD
2008. Associate Professor, Psychology. CUNY
Jarret Crawford, PhD
2008. Associate Professor, The College of New Jersey.
Stacy Robustelli, PhD 2006
(Educational Psychology). Currently a consultant for
Robin Freyberg, PhD 2005
(primary advisor, Jeannette Haviland). Yeshiva University in
Celina Chatman-Nelson, PhD
1999. Associate Director, Graduate Career Development and
Diversity and Inclusion, University of Chicago.
Stephanie Madon, PhD 1998.
Professor and Graduate Chair, Iowa State U. Home page.
Kathy Aboufadel, PhD 1995.
Senior Project Manager, Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Rebecca Yen, PhD 1993,
Yuan-Ze Institute of Technology, Taiwan.
Laura Pople, PhD 1993,
Psychology Editor, Worth Publishers.
CURRENT AND SOME FORMER HONORS STUDENTS
All recipients of the Henry Rutgers Scholar Award were
primarily advised by Sean Stevens.
Rachel Lisner (2016), Thesis: Are political areas in
psychology vulnerable to questionable research
Award, Phillips Award for Outstanding Thesis in Psychology. Rachel
slew of the "new forensics" (e.g., pcurves) on politicized and
unpoliticized areas of psychological research, and found little
problematic statistical or methodological practices in either.
Brittany Finn (2015), Thesis: Do researchers' high moral
purposes undermine scientific integrity? Henry
Award, Shah Award for Research Promise. Brittany performed a
slew of the "new forensics" (e.g., pcurves) and found that
evidence regarding stereotype threat and the relationship of implicit
prejudice to discrimination is, at best, far weaker than usually
cracked up to be.
Greta Jankauskaite (2012): Thesis:
One Nation Under Whose God? Greta's thesis
distinguished between religiosity and spirituality and linked
both to Haidt & Graham's Moral Foundations Theory. This was
a highly original thesis and won just about every major
undergraduate award at Rutgers, including the prestigious Henry
Rutgers Scholar award. Greta was also selected to be
Psychology's Commencement Speaker at graduation.
Michael Wang (2012): Thesis:
The role of propaganda in genocide and polarizing group
perceptions. He exposed people to hateful propaganda but
found no effect -- he concluded that the propaganda he used was so
outlandish that it was just dismissed as silly.
Kristin Vick (2011). Thesis:
Assessing a Scale Measuring Lying to Appear Unprejudiced. Kristin
performed research validating the PC Scale (see Work
in Progress for more details). The higher people scored on
the PC Scale (a new scale assessing lying to appear unprejudiced)
the more they claimed to know about nonexistent civil rights
leaders and organizations. This
thesis won a Henry Rutgers Scholar Award, which is the highest
award Rutgers gives for an undergraduate thesis.
Esti Sonnenblick (2011).
Thesis: The Effect of Ongoing Suffering on Prejudice.
Esti's thesis attempted to replicate a German study showing that
making salient that Jews continue to suffer today from the
after-effects of the Holocaust actually increases
anti-Semitism. Her results partially replicated the
Germany study. The effect did occur among Republicans, but
not among the rest of the sample. Esti speculated that
elevated levels of belief in a just world among conservatives
(well-established in other research but not tested here)
explains why, after reading about ongoing suffering,
anti-Semitism increased among Republicans. Esti received
Psychology's Alice M. and Walter Phillips Award for Outstanding
(2010). Thesis: The Effects of Individuating Information
and Stereotypes on Implicit and Explicit Social Perceptions of
Individuals and Groups. Rachel examined whether individuating
information or stereotypes were stronger influences on implicit
and explicit person perception, and found individuating
information was much stronger. This thesis won a Henry
Rutgers Scholar Award, which is the highest award Rutgers gives
for an undergraduate thesis. Rachel is currently a
graduate student in Rutgers social psychology program.
Karin Negele (2008). Thesis:
Do Stereotypes Dominate Social Dominators? Karin examined whether
people who endorse exploiting others were more biased in their
stereotyping. It turns out that they were not.
Laura Ragusa (2007). Thesis: Stereotype
Accuracy Regarding Incarceration. Laura examined the (in)accuracy of
people's beliefs about the incarceration rates of various different
demographic groups (African-Americans, Whites, Latinos, Men, Women,
(2006). Thesis: Measuring Brain Activity While Lying
to Appear Unprejudiced: An ERP Study Chris performed the first
social cognitive neuroscience study associated with my lab.
ERP's are Event Related Potentials, which are pattens of
electrical activity in the brain. Lying has been
demonstrated to evoke a unique pattern of ERP's. In this study,
people's ERP responses to the PC scale (see Romain Walker, below)
were found to be similar to those occurring when telling blatant
lies (e.g., it is 90 degrees outside today -- when "today" is a
typical December day in New Jersey).
Gautam Bhasin (2006). Thesis: Mortality Salience and
Anti-Semitism. Gautam's study tested these ideas, and found that
under mortality salience, people: 1. became more hostile to Jews.
2. became more hostile to Israel.
3. viewed Israel as looming large (an effect occurring with no
other country). 4. increased their willingness to punish Israel
for human rights violations more than they increased their
willingness to punish other countries (India, Russia) for the
identical violation. This research was part of a series of studies
published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
James Delaguila (2006). Thesis: Political
perception. Ideology (liberal/conservative) biases people's
interpretations of news articles purporting to oppose racial
profiling or support the war in Iraq.
Reshma Stafford (2005). Thesis: Bending Over
Backwards: When White’s Threatened Egalitarianism Causes Excessive
Leniency towards African Americans. Reshma performed
an experiment examining hypothesis about why Whites often are more
lenient (favorable) in their evaluations of the work of African
Americans than in their evaluations of work of Whites.
Kathleen Kennedy (2005) Thesis: Social Support
Opinions Validation Study. Katie performed two studies
validating a new questionnaire, the Social Support Opinion
Survey. Two validation studies examined the relationships of
people’s support styles to their personality, world view, gender,
and the amount and type of support that they receive themselves.
These studies found significant correlations between both the SSOS
Direct and Nondirect subscales and several measures of
personality, received support, and world views. In addition,
both men and women were more likely to provide nondirect than
direct support, but women were more likely than men to provide
nondirect and less likely than men to provide direct
support. These findings support the validity of the SSOS as
a measure of individuals’ support giving style. This has
become part of a paper that was published in Journal of Applied
Social Psychology. Katie went to graduate school at
Princeton and is now an assistant professor at the business school
at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
Sachelle Heavens (2005). Thesis: The Political
Correctness (PC) Scale: Measuring Lying to Appear Unprejudiced.
Sachelle performed a combined experimental and correlational study
testing the validity of the PC scale. And found that the
scale correlated beautifully with prejudice (higher pc, lower
prejudice against African-Americans, Asians, and women); it
correlated beautifully with three measures of lying to make one
appear better than one really is; and it was highly responsive to
situational pressures to appear unprejudiced. This study is part
of a series (see Romain Walker, below) that is on the verge of
being submitted for publication.
(2002). Thesis: Politically Correct
Responding. Romain's honors thesis involves two
experimental studies assessing the validity of the PC
Scale. Romain's thesis received an award for being
one of the top psychology theses of 2002, and a slightly revised
version was published in The Rutgers Scholar, volume 4.
His thesis is currently being expanded and combined with
Sachelle's and will soon be submitted for publication.
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