Associate Teaching Professor
Psychology office: 340D Baker Hall
Psychology phone: 412-268-2801
My primary research interests lies in the area of Social Cognition. I have always been
fascinated by the manner in which individuals make social judgments of others, often
based on a minimum amount of information. Early in my career I worked on a project
entitled: “Categorical Race Versus Individuating Beliefs as Determinates of
Discrimination”. This study involved a look at the false beliefs that individuals hold of
those of other racial groups and the impact these beliefs have on their willingness to
interact with out-group members. My work today still attempts to explore this issue.
It is my goal to uncover the many sources of information that individuals use to make
social judgments and the impact these judgments have on the relations between
out-group members. I often conduct research in the area of Prejudice and Discrimination.
Most recently, I have conducted research in the area of name stereotypes. Just as
group categories such as race, sex, and age have well-defined stereotypes or behaviors
expected by the group members, my research indicated that names have stereotypes
associated with them. In particular, my focus has been on names associated with
minority groups. My research indicates ethnic sounding names are often used as a
basis of discrimination and can even signal social class.
A second area of stereotype research I have explored is stereotypes associated with
Caucasian Americans. Although Caucasian stereotypes are widely held and shared by
minority group member, Caucasians are often unaware of these stereotypes. I seek to
determine both the content of the Caucasian stereotypes and the impact it may have on
A final related area of interest I hold pertains to the impact of Social Stigmas and the
role of self-fulfilling prophecies in determining individual achievement and emotional health.
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