research teaching publications press

[Current CV]

General audience:

Please touch the merchandise

In the world of sensory marketing, touch is perhaps the most underutilized. Here's what new research tells us.
Harvard Business Review, 2012.

Selected journal publications:

Superman to the rescue: Simulating physical invulnerability attenuates exclusion-related interpersonal biases

People often cope with social rejection by emphasizing ingroup relationships but also by denigrating outgroup others. These behaviors are in part grounded in a motivation for safety, such that having people mentally simulate physical safety (invulnerability) can fulfill this motivation, preventing compensatory responses to rejection.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2013.

When the Economy Falters Do People Spend or Save? Responses to Resource Scarcity Depend on Childhood Environments

Responses to current resource scarcity depend on the socioeconomic harshness of their early-life environments. When confronted with economic recession cues, people who grew up in low-SES environments became more impulsive, more risk-seeking, and faster to approach temptations, whereas people who grew up in high-SES environments showed the opposite pattern of outcomes.
Psychological Science, 2013.

The financial consequences of too many men: Sex ratio effects on saving, borrowing, and spending

The (real or imagined) ratio of males to females in the environment can have interesting effects on men's financial decision making. Relatively more males led men to prefer immediate monetary rewards, spend more quickly and borrow more, even to the point of incurring debt.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2012.

Immunizing against prejudice: Effects of disease protection on outgroup attitudes

Actions that protect against disease transmission, such as receiving a flu vaccine or washing one's hands, also reduce prejudices felt about members of stigmatized groups.
Psychological Science, 2011.

Let's get serious: Communicating commitment in romantic relationships

People generally associate women with love more than men. It turns out that men are more likely to confess love first and respond positively to being told "I love you" than women, but only if sex has not occurred yet in the relationship.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2011.

Incidental haptic sensations influence social judgments and decisions

Tactile experiences affect the mind as well as the body, and can prime metaphorically-related ways of thinking. For example, touching heavy objects makes job candidates appear more important, rough objects make social interactions appear more difficult, and hard objects increase rigidity in negotiations.
Science, 2010.

Cooperative Courtship: Helping Friends Raise and Raze Relationship Barriers

Finding and attracting (the correct) romantic partners can be a complex and competitive undertaking. Luckily, people use their friends in a number of strategic ways to aid in achieving their romantic goals.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2009.

Following in the Wake of Anger: When not Discriminating is Discriminating

Whether we see threat or friendliness in the faces of other people depends on the groups they are a part of and the emotional expressions of others in the social environment.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2009.

A pox on the mind: Disjunction of attention and memory in processing physical disfigurement

When disease threats are present in the environment, people pay more attention to faces with innocuous physical disfigurements, but confuse in memory those faces with others of similar individuals.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2009.

You wear me out: The vicarious depletion of self-control

Our self-control abilities can be helped or hurt by the self-control of people around us depending on whether we are mentally distant from those people or are taking their perspective.
Psychological Science, 2009.

The costs of benefits: Help-refusals highlight key trade-offs of social life

People often, and oddly, refuse needed aid. The reasons they do so are numerous, but can be classified as threats to a set of fundamental social goals that all people share.
Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2008.

Is Friendship Akin to Kinship?

Although men and women tend to treat family members and strangers quite similarly, when it comes to nepotism and romance, women treat friends like family and men treat friends like strangers.
Evolution and Human Behavior, 2007.

They all look the same to me (unless they're angry): From out-group homogeneity to out-group heterogeneity

People tend to confuse members of groups that they are not a part of, or "outgroups." However, when those outgroup members signal interpersonal threat through angry expressions, people remember outgroup individuals quite well, and sometimes even better than ingroup members.
Psychological Science, 2006.