Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Adam Pearson

Adam Pearson

  • Media Contact

The challenges of racial, ethnic, and cross-cultural integration are among some of the most contentious and complex of the 21st Century. Research in my lab explores how people navigate diverse environments and the role that everyday interactions play in shaping contemporary intergroup relations.

In one line of research, my colleagues and I are exploring how conscious and nonconscious biases manifest in everyday perceptions and social interactions, with the goal of understanding psychological factors that impact intergroup relations. For instance, in laboratory experiments, my colleagues and I have found that initial interracial and interethnic interactions are remarkably fragile and that even very subtle disruptions in conversation (e.g., a 1-second delay) can fuel biases and undermine both Whites’ and minorities’ interests in intergroup contact. In longitudinal field studies, my colleagues and I have found that superordinate identities, such as a strong university affiliation, can inoculate people against this instability and facilitate the development of cross-group friendships over time. I am currently exploring the extent to which digital forms of communication and social media may fuel or attenuate biases in social judgments.

I am also interested in basic questions about the nature and accuracy of intergroup perception. For example, my colleagues and I are examining how people (mis)construe subtle verbal and nonverbal behavior (e.g., anxiety) in intergroup exchanges. Using dyadic analytical methods, we are also exploring sources of bias and accuracy in intergroup mindreading and whether accuracy improves over time with more intergroup contact. This work has both theoretical and practical implications for understanding the psychological mechanisms that give rise to common misunderstandings, miscommunication, and distrust in intergroup exchanges.

Primary Interests:

  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Internet and Virtual Psychology
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Nonverbal Behavior
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Person Perception
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

Journal Articles:

Other Publications:

Courses Taught:

  • Contemporary Prejudice
  • Critical Inquiry Seminar: "We": The New Science of Social Life
  • Introductory Psychology
  • Research Design & Methodology
  • Social Psychology

Adam Pearson
Department of Psychology
Pomona College
647 North College Way
Claremont, California 91711
United States

  • Work: (909) 621-8418
  • Mobile: 860-874-7244

Send a message to Adam Pearson

reCAPTCHA challenge image
Incorrect please try again
For security, type the characters shown above: For security, type the words:

Note: You will be emailed a copy of your message.

Psychology Headlines

From Around the World

News Feed (35,797 subscribers)