Research in Social Perception

Although I examine many different aspects of social perception, my research is unified by my approach to developing and testing research questions.


One major influence on social perception I am interested in is physiological processes. In much of my research, I collect saliva samples from which I am able to examine the associations between people's social perception and their hormone levels (e.g., testosterone, progesterone) and immune system markers (e.g., cytokines interleukin-6 and interleukin-1b). I study these associations bidirectionally: how physiological processes influence the way people perceive others and how perceptions influence physiological processes.

Another major influence I focus on is motivation. People's motivation, whether it is to find a romantic partner, maintain an existing romantic relationship, or to protect oneself from pathogens, has profound influences on various sociocogntitive processes and the way they interact with their social world.

Much of my research questions are grounded in the evolutionary and sociocognitive theoretical perspectives.