Our research

What do we study

The MAP Lab studies how people form impressions of other individuals based on a variety of biases and how new experiences further shape these initial impressions. This process affects a variety of outcomes–from personal relationships to criminal justice and leadership decisions. Better understanding social perception could aid in understanding the relationships between different mental faculties (ex: vision, learning, evaluation, memory, and decision making), and help rectify unfair social biases.

Our research draws a more complete picture of social perception by considering the impact of social biases and other conceptual knowledge, past and new experiences, and learning (in addition to the impact of facial features). To accomplish this, we integrate insights from a variety of research disciplines, including social and personality psychology, vision science, cultural psychology, and cognitive neuroscience. Specific lines of research are as follows:


Our life experiences, cultures, and other factors shape our perspectives. We examine how these differences influence how we see others.


Our perception of someone is influenced by our biases about their gender, race, or other categories as soon as we see their face. We explore how and why these biases occur.

Changes in Person PERCEPTIONS

Our initial judgments of others can change over time, affecting how we perceive and remember them. We study what causes these changes in our perception of others.