Social Psychology Network

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Susan Fiske

Susan Fiske

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Professor Fiske's research addresses how stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination are encouraged or discouraged by social relationships, such as cooperation, competition, and power. The research begins with the premise that people easily categorize other people, especially based on race, gender, age, and class. Going beyond such categories, to learn about the individual person, requires motivation. Social relationships supply one form of motivation to individuate, and the work shows that being on the same team or depending on another person makes people go beyond stereotypes. Conversely, people in power are less motivated to go beyond their stereotypes. Laboratory studies examine how a variety of relationships affect people forming impressions of others.

Society's cultural stereotypes and prejudice also depend on relationships of power and interdependence. Group status and competition affect how groups are (dis)liked and (dis)respected. Surveys examine the content of group stereotypes based on race, gender, age, (dis)ability, income, and more, finding patterns in the ways that society views various groups.

Her lab's recent work also uses the tools of social neuroscience to search for neural signatures of particular prejudices and to examine power relations.

Susan T. Fiske is Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and Professor of Public Affairs, Princeton University (Ph.D., Harvard University; honorary doctorates, Université catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands). She finished a fourth edition of Social Cognition (1984, 1991, 2008, 2013, each with Taylor) on how people make sense of each other. She has written more than 250 articles and chapters, as well as editing many books and journal special issues. Notably, she edits the Annual Review of Psychology (with Schacter and Taylor) and the Handbook of Social Psychology (with Gilbert and Lindzey, 5e, 2010). She also wrote an upper-level integrative text, Social Beings: Core Motives in Social Psychology (2004, 2010) and edited Beyond Common Sense: Psychological Science in the Courtroom (2008, with Borgida). Her Russell-Sage and Guggenheim-funded book, Envy Up, Scorn Down: How Status Divides Us (2011) will soon come out in paperback.

Her work on emotional prejudices (pity, contempt, envy, and pride) at cultural, interpersonal, and neural levels, has been funded by the Russell Sage Foundation (2008-2011) and previously funded by the National Science Foundation (1984-1986, 1995-1997) and the National Institutes of Health (1986-1995). Her expert testimony in discrimination cases was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1989 landmark decision on gender bias. In 1998, she also testified before President Clinton’s Race Initiative Advisory Board, and in 2001-03, she co-authored a National Academy of Science report on Methods for Measuring Discrimination. In 2004, she published a Science article explaining how ordinary people can torture enemy prisoners, through processes of prejudice and social influence.

Most recently, she was awarded British Academy Corresponding Fellow, American Academy of Political and Social Sciences Gordon W. Allport Fellow,
the 2010 APA Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award, the 2010 Society for Personality and Social Psychology Donald T. Campbell Award, a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2009 William James Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science, and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Previously, she won the American Psychological Association’s Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest for anti-discrimination testimony and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues’ Allport Intergroup Relations Award for ambivalent sexism theory (with Glick), as well as Harvard’s Graduate Centennial Medal.

She has served on several professional nonprofit boards, and she was elected President-Elect, Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences,
President of the Association for Psychological Science, President of the Foundation for the Advancement of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and President of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Her graduate students conspired to win her Princeton’s graduate mentoring award in 2009. She is grateful to them and to all her generous colleagues for these recognitions that all in fact reflect collaborative work.

Her expert witness work has familiarized her with workplace discrimination in settings from shipyards and assembly lines to international investment firms, and she has served on diversity committees in several nonprofit settings, including Princeton’s Carl A. Fields Center. She grew up in Chicago’s Hyde Park, a stable, racially integrated community and still wonders why the rest of the world does not work that way.

Primary Interests:

  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Gender Psychology
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Neuroscience, Psychophysiology
  • Person Perception
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

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Data Files

  • Group Means, Student Sample: JPSP (2002)
    • Linked publication: Fiske, S. T., Cuddy, A. J., Glick, P., & Xu, J. (2002). A model of (often mixed) stereotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 878-902.
  • Group Means, Non-Student Sample: JPSP (2002)
    • Linked publication: Fiske, S. T., Cuddy, A. J., Glick, P., & Xu, J. (2002). A model of (often mixed) stereotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 878-902.


Journal Articles:

  • Cikara, M., Botvinick, M. M., & Fiske, S. T. (2011). Us versus them: Social identity shapes neural responses to intergroup competition and harm. Psychological Science, 22, 306-313.
  • Durante, F., Volpato, C., & Fiske, S.T. (2010). Using the Stereotype Content Model to examine group depictions in Fascism: An archival approach. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 465-483.
  • Fiske, S. T. (2010). Interpersonal stratification: Status, power, and subordination. In S. T. Fiske, D. T., Gilbert, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (5th ed., pp. ). New York: Wiley.
  • Fiske, S. T., Cuddy, A. J., Glick, P., & Xu, J. (2002). A model of (often mixed) stereotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 878-902.
  • Fiske, S. T., Harris, L. T., & Cuddy, A. J. C. (2004). Policy Forum: Why ordinary people torture enemy prisoners. Science, 306, 1482-1483.
  • Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (1996). The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory: Differentiating hostile and benevolent sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 491-512. [Winner, Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Award, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, 1995]
  • Harris, L. T., & Fiske, S. T. (2006). Dehumanizing the lowest of the low: Neuro-imaging responses to extreme outgroups. Psychological Science, 17, 847-853.
  • Kervyn, N., Bergsieker, H. B., & Fiske, S. T. (in press). The innuendo effect: Hearing the positive but inferring the negative. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
  • Lin, M. H., Kwan, V. S. Y., Cheung, A., & Fiske, S. T. (2005). Stereotype content model explains prejudice for an envied outgroup: Scale of Anti-Asian American Stereotypes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 34-47.
  • Russell, A. M., & Fiske, S. T. (2008). It’s all relative: Social position and interpersonal perception. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 1193-1201.

Courses Taught:

  • Introductory Social Psychology
  • Psychology of Racism

Susan Fiske
Department of Psychology
Green Hall
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey 08540
United States of America

  • Phone: (609) 258-0655
  • Fax: (609) 258-1113
  • Skype Name: susan.fiske

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