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My students and I work on research that applies the principles and methods of social cognition to questions with direct real-world relevance. We have two broad areas of interest with this overarching theme.

First, we study how nonconscious processes function in everyday life. One line of work has focused on the impact of objects and environments (such as red pens, light bulbs, formal clothing, and churches) on cognition and behavior. A second line of work in this area is applied in a health setting: we have developed and are testing a priming-based intervention to reduce pain. This has involved laboratory tests using experimental (cold pressor) pain; we will soon test its effectiveness in patients with chronic pain conditions, and are adapting the intervention to be presented via smartphone for use in daily life.

Second, we study social perception, with a focus on the perception of groups. We examine both basic questions (e.g., examining the antecedents of categorization and social essentialism) and applied issues (e.g., examining the implications of social identity for prejudice reduction interventions and political bipartisanship).

Publications (click links to download PDF)

Slepian, M. L., Ferber, S. N., Gold, J. M., & Rutchick, A. M. (2015). The cognitive consequences of formal clothing. Social and Personality Psychology Science, 6, 661-668.

Calvillo, D. P., & Rutchick, A. M. (2014). Domain knowledge and hindsight bias among poker players. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 27(3), 259-267.

Calvillo, D. P., & Rutchick, A. M. (2014). Political knowledge reduces hindsight memory distortion in election judgements. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 26(2), 213-220.

Slepian, M. L., Young, S. G., Rutchick, A. M. & Ambady, N. (2013). Quality of professional players’ poker hands is perceived accurately from arm motions. Psychological Science, 24(11), 2335-2338.

Rutchick, A.M. & Slepian, M.L. (2013). Handling ibuprofen increases pain tolerance and decreases perceived pain intensity in a cold pressor test. PLoS ONE, 8(3): e56175. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056175. (Link goes to PLOS One page; download PDF there)

Rutchick, A. M., Slepian, M. L., & Ferris, B. D. (2010). The pen is mightier than the word: Object priming of evaluative standards. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 704–708.

Rutchick, A. M. (2010). Deus ex machina: The influence of polling place on voting behavior. Political Psychology, 31, 209-225.

Rutchick, A. M., & Eccleston, C. P. (2010). Ironic effects of invoking a common ingroup identity. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 32, 109-117.

Slepian, M. L., Weisbuch, M., Rutchick, A. M., Newman, L. S., & Ambady, N. (2010). Shedding light on insight: Priming bright ideas. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 696-700.

Filipkowski, K. B., Smyth, J. M., Rutchick, A. M., Santuzzi, A. M., Adya, M., Petrie, K. J., & Kaptein, A. A. (2010). Do healthy people worry? Modern health worries, subjective health complaints, perceived health, and health care utilization. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 17, 182-188.

Rutchick, A. M., Smyth, J. M., & Konrath, S. (2009). Seeing Red (and Blue): Effects of Electoral College depictions on political group perception. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 9, 269-282.

Newman, L. S., Hernandez, W., Bakina, D. A., & Rutchick, A. M. (2009). Implicit egotism on the baseball diamond: Why Peter Piper prefers to pitch for the Pittsburgh Pirates. NAMES: A Journal of Onomastics, 57, 176-181.

Rutchick, A. M., Smyth, J. M., Lopoo, L. M., & Dusek, J. B. (2009). Great Expectations: The biasing effects of reported child behavior problems on educational expectancies and subsequent academic achievement. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28, 392-413.

Rutchick, A. M., Hamilton, D. L., & Sack, J. D. (2008). Antecedents of entitativity in categorically and dynamically construed groups. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 1-17.

Johnson, A. L., Crawford, M. T., Sherman, S. J., Rutchick, A. M., Hamilton, D. L., Ferreira, M., & Petrocelli, J. V. (2006). A functional perspective on group memberships: differential need fulfillment in a group typology. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 707-719.

Lickel, B., Rutchick, A. M., Hamilton, D. L., & Sherman, S. J. (2006). Intuitive theories of group types and relational principles. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 28-39.

Hamilton, D. L., Sherman, S. J., Sack, J. D., Johnson, A., & Rutchick, A. M. (2003). Foundations and functions of perceiving different types of groups. New Review of Social Psychology, 1, 38-49.


Dustin Calvillo, CSU San Marcos

C. Benjamin Flynn, Mobile Apps Software Consulting

Michael Slepian, Columbia Business School

Joshua Smyth, Pennsylvania State University

Robert Youmans, Youtube/George Mason University

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