Research

My research unites theory from social psychology, cognition, and communication science to answer questions pertaining to the following topics:

Ensemble Coding

Psychological research has long focused on person perception, or the perception of individuals in isolation. However, our daily lives are dominated by groups, teams, and collectives. For this reason, I am particularly interested in people perception, or the perception of ensembles. Some current questions of interest include: Can we rapidly and accurately ascertain group composition (e.g., the ratio of men to women in a group) from voices alone? Does group composition affect group perception (e.g., are groups with more men perceived as more threatening)? How accurate are these perceptions in the real-world (e.g., do we accurately detect threat, or lack thereof, in protests/demonstrations)?

Sensory Adaptation

Sensory adaptation refers to the process by which recent experience biases current perceptions. Research shows that adaptation to certain visual features causes those features to appear normative and consequently more favorable (e.g., repeated exposure to underweight bodies makes average bodies seem larger and less attractive in comparison). However, little work has looked at auditory adaptation and its affects. Does auditory adaptation similarly influence evaluative judgements? Is there a way to use visual and auditory adaptation to reduce prejudice among underrepresented groups (e.g., does exposure to diversity increase perceptual normativity and therefore positively influence evaluative judgements of previously underrepresented groups)?