My research investigates the science of diversity, focusing on how individual, group, and institutional processes shape perception, communication, and performance. In one stream of research, I examine how lay strategies for minimizing intergroup anxiety and prejudice turn ironically counterproductive. Here, I consider why attempts to appear unbiased in social interaction can lead people to seem more biased and why institutional approaches to eliminating discrimination can actually fuel inequity. In a second research stream, I study the interplay of social norms, stigma, and self-regulation over the course of the lifespan. I explore the origins of politically correct behavior in children to the uninhibited candor found among the elderly. Integrating domains of social, developmental, and organizational psychology, I draw on a cross-disciplinary, multi-method approach to tackle the unique challenges posed by an increasingly diverse society. Above all, my research is unified by the pursuit of theoretically innovative science that carries practically important implications for individual and group functioning.

Selected Publications

Apfelbaum, E. P., Phillips, K. W., & Richeson, J. A. (in press). Rethinking the baseline in diversity research: Should we be explaining the effects of homogeneity? Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Shteynberg, G., & Apfelbaum, E. P. (in press). The power of shared ingroup attention: Simultaneous observation with similar others facilitates social learning. Social Psychological and Personality Science.
Apfelbaum, E. P., Norton, M. I., & Sommers, S. R. (in press). Racial colorblindness: Emergence, practice, and implications. Current Directions in Psychological Science.
Phillips, K. W., & Apfelbaum, E.P. (in press). Delusions of homogeneity? Reinterpreting the effects of group diversity. In B. Mannix and M. Neale (Eds.), The Handbook of Research on Managing Groups and Teams.
Apfelbaum, E. P., & Sommers, S. R. (in press). Law and diversity: The legal-behavioral science divide in how to define, assess, and counteract bias. In Q. Robinson (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Diversity and Work. Oxford University Press.
Apfelbaum, E. P., Pauker, K., Sommers, S. R., & Ambady, N. (2010). In blind pursuit of racial equality? Psychological Science, 21, 1587-1592.
Apfelbaum, E. P., Krendl, A. C., & Ambady, N. (2010). Age-related decline in executive function predicts better advice-giving in uncomfortable social contexts. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 1074-1077.
Pauker, K., Ambady, N., & Apfelbaum, E. P. (2010). Race salience and essentialist thinking in racial stereotype development. Child Development, 81, 1799-1813.
Freeman, J. B., Pauker, K., Apfelbaum, E. P., & Ambady, N. (2010). Continuous dynamics in the real-time perception of race. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 179-185.
Apfelbaum, E. P., & Sommers, S. R. (2009). Liberating effects of losing executive control: When regulatory strategies turn maladaptive. Psychological Science, 20, 139-143.
Apfelbaum, E. P., Sommers, S. R., & Norton, M. I. (2008). Seeing race and seeming racist? Evaluating strategic colorblindness in social interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 918-932.
Apfelbaum, E. P., Pauker, K., Ambady, N., Sommers, S. R., & Norton, M. I. (2008). Learning (not) to talk about race: When older children underperform in social categorization. Developmental Psychology, 44, 1513-1518.
Sommers, S. R., Apfelbaum, E. P., Dukes, K. N., Toosi, N., & Wang, E. (2006). Race and media coverage of Hurricane Katrina: Analysis, implications, and future research questions. Analysis of Social Issues and Public Policy, 6, 39-55.
Norton, M. I., Sommers, S. R., Apfelbaum, E. P., Pura, N., & Ariely, D. (2006). Colorblindness and interracial interaction: Playing the political correctness game. Psychological Science, 17, 949-953.

Evan Apfelbaum © 2010, All rights reserved.