Dr. Kurt Hugenberg

Teaching Interests:

I teach multiple courses at the undergraduate and graduate level.  In the undergraduate curriculum, I commonly teach Social Psychology (PSY221) which is a survey of social psychological theory both classic and current.  I also commonly teach Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Minority Experience (PSY 325), which is a research-focused course on the science of stereotyping.  This course involves extensive reading of primary sources and an intensive focus on small group work.  At the graduate level, I have taught courses on emotion and on stereotyping.

Research Interests:

My research program focuses broadly on social categorization. Research in social psychology and cognitive science indicates that we spontaneously categorize people into social categories (e.g., sex, race, religion, etc.).  Much of my work focuses on how such categories are represented in memory, and how such social categorization influences social perception.

One of my ongoing research interests is understanding the intersection of categorization and face perception.  I’m interested in how social categorization influences how the face is processed, interpreted and remembered.  For example, much of my current work involves the Own Race Effect, or the tendency to better recognize members of racial ingroups than members of racial outgroups.  Across a number of experiments, we find that social categories affect face recognition; even minimal ingroups are recognized better than outgroups, even holding race constant (e.g., Bernstein et al., 2007; Hugenberg et al., 2010; Hugenberg, Miller, & Claypool, 2007; Shriver et al., 2008).  In other research, we are investigating how prejudices toward social groups (e.g., African Americans) bias the perception of, attention to, and interpretation of faces and facial expressions.  It appears that social categories can also pay a potent role in the accuracy of expression recognition as well, with both specific stereotypic effects occurring (e.g., a Black-anger link; Hugenberg & Bodenhausen, 2003, 2004), as well as a general deficit for outgroup expression recognition (e.g., Young & Hugenberg, 2010).

Professional Recognition:

  • 2011 Effective Educator Nominee – Miami Univ. (by vote of the 2007 graduating class)
  • 2010 Top 100 Faculty at Miami University (by undergraduate vote)
  • 2009   SAGE Young Scholars Award, Society for Personality and Social Psychology
  • 2006   Professor of the Year Award, Psi Chi, Miami University
  • 2006   Winner of the Theoretical Innovation Prize, Society for Personality and Social Psychology (with Conrey, Sherman, Gawronski, & Groom)
  • 2005   Distinguished Faculty Member, Greek Award, Miami University

Representative Publications:

Young, S. G., & Hugenberg, K. (2012).  Individuation motivation and face expertise can operate jointly to produce the Own-Race Bias.  Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3, 80-87.

Ratcliff, N., Hugenberg, K., Shriver, E. R., & Bernstein, M. J.  (2011). The allure of status: High-status targets are privileged in face processing and memory.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 1003-1015.

Wilson, J. P., & Hugenberg, K. (2010). When under threat, we all look the same: Distinctiveness threat induces ingroup homogeneity in face memory.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 1004-1010.

Hugenberg, K., Young, S., Bernstein, M., & Sacco, D. F. (2010).  The Categorization-Individuation Model: An integrative account of the cross race recognition deficit.  Psychological Review, 117, 1168-1187.

Young, S., & Hugenberg, K. (2010).  Mere social categorization modulates identification of facial expressions of emotion.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 964-977.

Sacco, D. F., & Hugenberg, K.  (2009).  The look of fear and anger: Facial maturity modulates the recognition of fearful and angry expressions.  Emotion, 9, 39-49.

Sherman, J., Gawronski, B., Gonsalkorale, K., Hugenberg, K., Allen, T., Groom, C. (2008).  The self-regulation of automatic associations and behavioral impulses.  Psychological Review, 115, 314-335.