SOCIAL PERCEPTION AND EVALUATION LAB

Thank you for your interest in the Social Perception and Evaluation Lab here at NYU. If you are interested in joining the lab, please see the Join Us page for more information.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Jay Van Bavel - Assistant Professor - NYU Department of Psychology

Jay Van Bavel, Director

Jay completed his BA at the University of Alberta, a PhD at the University of Toronto and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at The Ohio State University before starting as an Assistant Professor at New York University in 2010. Jay is interested in how social identities, values and motivations shape perception and evaluation. His primary line of research takes a multi-level approach to self-categorization and social identity, blending theory and methods from social cognition and cognitive neuroscience to show how the value and contents of our social identities shape virtually all aspects of cognition. Other lines of research explore the processes and implications of moral (versus non-moral) judgment, the structure, antecedents and consequences of hate (versus dislike).

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POSTDOCS

Géraldine Coppin - Postdoctoral Fellow - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Géraldine Coppin, NYU Social Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow

Géraldine completed her BA in Psychology at the University of Lille 3, France, before her MA and PhD in Psychology at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. She is currently a post-doctoral Fellow (sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation) at the John B. Pierce Laboratory, School of Medicine, Yale University, working primarily with Professor Dana Small. Géraldine is interested in the psychology and neurosciences of chemosensory perception (i.e., olfactory and flavor perception), with a particular interest in decision-making processes and memory, as well as implicit processes. Her research with Jay examines the dynamic links between identity and chemosensory perception.

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Peter Mende-Siedlecki - Postdoctoral Fellow - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Peter Mende-Siedlecki, NYU Social Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow

Peter received his BA in Neuroscience and Behavior from Columbia University in 2007, before receiving a PhD in Psychology from Princeton University in 2014, working primarily with Dr. Alex Todorov. Peter is broadly interested in interactions between social perception, social cognition, and social identity. In particular, his work focuses on the behavioral and neural bases supporting the dynamic representation of other people, as well as the the social evaluation of faces.

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Sharareh Noorbaloochi - Postdoctoral Fellow - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Sharareh Noorbaloochi, NYU Social Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow

Sharareh received her BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, before completing her PhD in Psychology and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. She joined NYU as a postdoctoral fellow in 2013 and works closely with Professors Jay Van Bavel and John Jost. Sharareh is interested in the behavioral and neural bases of moral-political attitudes and in interventions targeted at promoting global justice. Currently she is studying the root causes of moral exceptionalism in the context of foreign policy disputes.

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Shona Tritt - Postdoctoral Fellow - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Shona Tritt, NYU Social Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow

Shona completed her PhD at the University of Toronto in 2014. Broadly speaking, Shona’s research program seeks to better understand how belief systems and mindsets tune and shape perception and cognition, and conversely, how cognition and perception affect beliefs. For example, she has examined how different emotional states are associated with political ideology. Her current research examines how different aspects of ideological thought tune more basic cognitive processes, which in turn reinforce aspects of ideology.

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PHD STUDENTS - ADVISEES

Jennifer Ray - Ph.D. Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Jennifer Ray, NYU Social Psychology Ph.D. Student

Jennifer received her BA in psychology and political science from Williams College and began her PhD in Social Psychology at NYU in 2009. She is broadly interested in studying the psychology of punishment and morality. More specifically, her research interests include how the inducement of moral (versus non-moral) evaluative modes impacts punitive judgments and reactions to taboo-tradeoffs.

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Yi (Jenny) Xiao - Ph.D. Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Yi (Jenny) Xiao, NYU Social Psychology Ph.D. Student

Jenny received her BA in psychology and biology from Bard College and began her PhD in Social Psychology at NYU in 2010. Jenny is broadly interested in studying social categorization, social identity, stereotyping and prejudice. In her research, Jenny tries to understand intergroup relations and interactions by exploring how high-level social psychological constructs such as social identity can alter low-level cognitive and perceptual processes. Jenny’s primary line of research with Jay Van Bavel seeks to understand how our social identity and intergroup threat work in concert to shape our perceptual and representational experience of physical reality—particularly physical distance—which could in turn lead to detrimental consequences in intergroup relations and interactions.

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Leor Hackel - Ph.D. Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Leor Hackel, NYU Social Psychology Ph.D. Student

Leor received his BS in Neuroscience & Behavior from Columbia University and began his PhD in Social Psychology at NYU in 2011. Leor is interested in how social identity, context, and motivation impact social perception and decision making, at cognitive and neural levels of analysis. In particular, Leor's primary lines of research with Jay Van Bavel examine how self-representations and group motivations impact 1) the way we perceive minds and mental states in others and 2) the way we place value on social and non-social rewards.

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Julian Wills - Ph.D. Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Julian Wills, NYU Social Psychology Ph.D. Student

Julian received his BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia and began his PhD in Social Psychology in 2013. Broadly, Julian is interested in the intersection of moral psychology and social neuroscience. Julian’s current research with Jay Van Bavel examines (1) neural patterns that predict moral behavior, (2) the distinction between moral and non-moral representations, and (3) ideological influences on neural activation.

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PHD STUDENTS - AFFILIATES

Amy Krosch - Ph.D. Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Amy Krosch, NYU Social Psychology Ph.D. Student

Amy received her BS in psychology and environmental studies from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and investigated the neural bases of decision making at Columbia University before beginning her PhD in Social Psychology at NYU in 2009. She currently investigates the basic social and cognitive mechanisms underlying intergroup justice and discrimination. Using behavioral and physiological measures, she examines how situational factors exacerbate racial inequality and how they shift the perceptual criterion used to determine group membership. Amy primarily works with David Amodio and Tom Tyler, but is also working on research in the Social Perception and Evaluation Lab.

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Ana Gantman - Ph.D. Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Ana Gantman, NYU Social Psychology Ph.D. Student

Ana received her BA in philosophy at Harvard University and began her PhD in Social Psychology at NYU in 2010. Ana works primarily in Peter Gollwitzer and Gabriele Oettingen's Motivation Lab on the differences between conscious and nonconscious goal pursuit, and in particular, what happens when nonconscious goals leave us with no ready explanation for our actions. Ana is also pursuing the motivational aspects of morality in the Social Perception and Evaluation Lab.

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Daniel Yudkin - Ph.D. Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Daniel Yudkin, NYU Social Psychology Ph.D. Student

Daniel received his BA in psychology and philosophy from Williams College and began his PhD in Social Psychology at NYU in 2011. He is interested in the elements that determine how people decide between right and wrong. One specific question he asks is: how do peoples' group affiliations change their moral judgments about others? In certain situations people judge members of their own group more harshly; in other cases people judge members of their own group more leniently. Currently Daniel's research is focusing on when and why this is the case.

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Hannah Nam - Ph.D. Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Hannah Nam, NYU Social Psychology Ph.D. Student

Hannah received her BA in psychology at Wesleyan University and began her PhD in Social Psychology at NYU in 2010. Hannah is interested in the psychological mechanisms and motivations that underlie both resistance to and support for change, especially under circumstances in which the status quo (social, economic, and political) is characterized by inequality and intergroup conflict. In addition, she is interested in understanding the neuro-cognitive correlates of political ideology, attitudes, and behaviors. Hannah works primarily with John Jost, and is also working on research in the Social Perception and Evaluation Lab.

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Yael Granot - Ph.D. Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Yael Granot, NYU Social Psychology Ph.D. Student

Yael received her BA in psychology from Vassar College and began her PhD in Social Psychology at NYU in 2010. Her research interests are focused on the cognitive and affective processes that influence social perception and motivation. She is also interested in studying conscious and nonconscious biases in intergroup relations with an eye toward mechanisms that foster altruistic decision-making. Yael is working primarily with Emily Balcetis and also pursuing projects in the Social Perception and Evaluation Lab.

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HONORS THESIS STUDENTS

Bosi Chen - Honors Thesis Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Bosi Chen, NYU Honors Thesis Student

Bosi is broadly interested in empathy, altruism and how social context can change people's prosocial behaviors. She is working with Jay Van Bavel and Leor Hackel on her honors thesis to specifically look at how group membership and self-construal impact prosocial decision, using theories and methods from behavioral economics and social psychology.

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Jessica Dubin - Honors Thesis Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Jessica Dubin, NYU Honors Thesis Student

Jessica is interested in the factors that go into moral judgements and how varying contexts can shift otherwise stable moral assessments. She will be working on her honors thesis with Jay Van Bavel and Daniel Yudkin during the 2013-2014 academic year.

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Julia Schaus - Honors Thesis Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Julia Schaus, NYU Honors Thesis Student

Julia is an undergraduate studying psychology and child and adolescent mental health, and will be working on her Honors Thesis in the 2013-2014 academic year with Jenny Xiao. She is interested in both social and clinical psychology, and plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology after graduating.

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LAB MANAGER

Lisa Kaggen - Lab Manager - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Lisa Kaggen, Lab Manager

Lisa received her BS in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Rochester. She is interested in the neural and behavioral effects of meditation on self-regulation and interpersonal relationships. In the future, she also hopes to explore the role of creativity in learning and how it may share neural substrates with psychopathology.

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LAB MEETINGS

Our lab group meets every Monday from 11:30-1:00 PM. Please contact us if you are interested in attending lab meetings or presenting your research.

FACULTY COLLABORATORS

Alison Chasteen, University of Toronto
William Cunningham, The Ohio State University
Simon Dennis, The Ohio State University
Geoffrey Leonardelli, University of Toronto
Dominic Packer, Lehigh University
John Sollers, University of Auckland
Julian Thayer, The Ohio State University
Mike Wohl, Carleton University

LAB ALUMNI

Andreas Kappes - Ph.D. Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Andreas Kappes, NYU Social Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow

Andreas studied psychology at the Free University of Berlin, Germany, and then made his Ph.D. at the University of Hamburg, Germany. Andreas began a post-doctoral fellowship (sponsored by the German Science Foundation) at NYU in 2011. Andreas works primarily in Gabriele Oettingen and Peter Gollwitzer's Motivation Lab. His research with Jay Van Bavel examines how ostensibly automatic, "hard-wired" processes are shaped and altered by processing goals and the social context.

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Justin Duke - MA Student Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Justin Duke, NYU Social Psychology MA Student

How are morals formed and is the process describable? Can we successfully describe the process and procedure of moral action in an absolute manner? Is the subjectivity of judgment connected to an objective process? All this, and much more, in my career!

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Yogesh Raut - MA Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Yogesh Raut, NYU Social Psychology MA Student

Yogesh received his BA in psychology from Stanford University and MA in Cinematic Arts-Critical Studies from the University of Southern California, and began his MA in psychology at NYU in 2011. He is interested in how a wide range of psychological processes -- including preferences, social cognition, cognitive biases, aggression, attraction, and achievement -- are influenced by basic self and identity processes, such as conformity, optimal distinctiveness, self-verification, self-enhancement, and defensive self-affirmation. He is also interested in the transmission and impact of cultural models. He is currently developing a novel theoretical model of aesthetic-experiential judgment under the supervision of Professor Van Bavel.

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Nick Ungson - MA Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Nick Ungson, NYU Social Psychology MA Student

Nick received his BS in Psychology from the University of Florida, and began his MA in Psychology at NYU in 2011. He is interested in the implicit nature of morality and how it affects perception, decision-making, and behavior. Additionally, he is interested in examining the foundations from which moral positions arise and how stimuli in our environment activate those foundations.

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Natasha Thalla - Honors Thesis Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Natasha Thalla, NYU Honors Thesis Student

Natasha completed her honors thesis in 2013, working with Jay Van Bavel and Daniel Yudkin. Her thesis looked at the effect of the magnitude of the transgression and the group status on the treatment of the moral transgressors. She is generally interested in the psychology of religious behavior (particularly ritual), morality and belief systems.

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Kyle Ratner - Ph.D. Student - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Kyle Ratner, NYU Social Psychology Ph.D. Student

Kyle received his BA from Cornell University and completed his PhD in Social Psychology at NYU in 2012, working primarily with David Amodio. Kyle is interested in how social contexts interact with biological systems to influence intergroup behavior. His current work focuses on two issues: 1) How do social identities bias perceptions and evaluations of other people? and 2) Why is stigmatized group membership a risk factor for poor achievement and health outcomes? In Fall 2012, Kyle will begin a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Ohio State University.

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Sophie Wharton - Lab Manager - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Sophie Wharton, Lab Manager

Sophie was the Lab Manager for Jay Van Bavel and David Amodio from 2011-2012. She received her BA in psychology from Harvard University. She is now teaching 7th grade at Achievement First Crown Heights, a charter school in Brooklyn.

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Alea Skwara - MA Student Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Alea Skwara, NYU Social Psychology MA Student

Alea received her BA in Theatre from Davidson College in 2009 and began her MA in Psychology at NYU in 2011. Her research interests focus on traumatic emotional experience and the resolution of these experiences, and on interpersonal bonding. More specifically, what are the neural correlates of emotional trauma, and how do they shift over time and with treatment? What individual and social differences affect this process? Alea is now Lab Manager for Leah Sommerville's Lab at Harvard.

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Leslie Berntsen - Honors Student - Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Leslie Berntsen, Honors Student

Leslie completed her honors thesis at NYU with Jay Van Bavel in 2012. Her thesis explored the social, motivational, and cognitive factors that underlie how observers perceive and categorize multiracial individuals. Her other research interests include the neural substrates of major psychiatric illnesses, culture-specific manifestations of psychopathology, and the psychological causes of genocide. She will be starting her PhD in psychology at the University of Southern California in the Fall of 2012.

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Ian Kurth - Honors Student - Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Ian Kurth, Honors Student

Ian completed his honors thesis on moral evaluation in the Van Bavel Lab in 2012. He is now starting the pre-medical program at NYU.

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Kelly Lee - Research Assistant - Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Kelly Lee, Research Assistant

Kelly was an undergraduate at NYU in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is interested in neuroscience and the different technologies used to study the brain and its role in social identity and prejudices. She plans on attending medical school while also pursuing research.

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Nick Ichien - Research Assistant - Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Nick Ichien, Research Assistant

Nick was an undergraduate at NYU's College of Arts and Sciences. He is currently working as a lab manager for Eva Telzer at the University of Illinois.

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Tobias Brosch - Postdoctoral Fellow - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Tobias Brosch, Postdoctoral Fellow

Tobias was a postdoctoral fellow at NYU (2010-2011), working primarily with Elizabeth Phelps. In collaboration with Jay Van Bavel, Tobias investigated the effects of social identity on rapid visual attention. Tobias is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland (see his website for further information).

Christian Kaul - Postdoctoral Fellow - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Christian Kaul, Postdoctoral Fellow

Christian was a postdoctoral fellow at NYU (2010), working primarily with David Heeger on how feature-based attention influences perception. In collaboration with Jay Van Bavel, Christian used multi-voxel pattern analysis to investigate the representation of race in the human brain. Christian is currently the Managing Director, Head of HR for Groupon Australia.

Jillian Swencionis - Lab Manager - Jay Van Bavel Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Jillian Swencionis, Lab Manager

Jillian was the Lab Manager for David Amodio and Jay Van Bavel at NYU (2009-2011). In collaboration with Jay Van Bavel, Jill worked on a line of research suggesting motivated influences on social memory, and an fMRI investigation of moral construals. Jillian is currently completing her PhD in Social Psychology at Princeton University with Susan Fiske.

Bram Schumer - Research Assistant - Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Bram Schumer, Undergraduate Honors Student

Bram completed his honors thesis at NYU with Jay Van Bavel in 2011. Bram's thesis, entitled "The Future of Chimerica: Effects of perceived power discrepancies on willingness to act against an out-group" received the Doris Aaronson Award for Outstanding Thesis in Psychology at NYU. Bram is currently an Apple Store Leader Program Associate in New York City.

Jay Van Bavel - NYU - Cognitive Neuroscience

Abigail Mengers, Research Assistant

Abby graduated from NYU's College of Arts and Sciences in 2010. In the Social Perception and Evaluation Lab, Abby worked on research investigating the influence of social identity on empathic accuracy. Abby is currently a Research Assistant at the Institute for Pediatric Neuroscience, which is a division of the NYU Child Study Center.

Aden Ratner-Stauber - Research Assistant - Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Aden Ratner-Stauber, Research Assistant

Aden graduated from NYU's Gallatin program of Individualized study in 2010 where she created her own concentration in "The Psychology of Intolerance". Aden is currently completing her PsyD in Clinical Psychology at Yeshiva University.

RimmaRovinskaya - Research Assistant - Social Perception and Evaluation Lab - NYU

Rimma Rovinskaya, Research Assistant

Rimma is an undergraduate in NYU's College of Arts and Sciences. In the Social Perception and Evaluation Lab, Rimma worked on research investigating social identity and motivation.