Research Summary


by Amy J.C. Cuddy


Professor Cuddy studies the origins and outcomes of how we perceive and are influenced by other people, investigating the roles of variables such as culture, emotions, nonverbal behaviors, and hormone levels. Much of her work focuses on social categories (e.g., Asian Americans, elderly people, Latinos, working mothers) – how they are judged by others and by their own members (i.e., stereotyping), and how these judgments set the tone and content of social interactions (i.e., prejudice and discrimination). Cuddy and her collaborators have developed a substantial body of research that focuses on judgments of other people and groups along two core trait dimensions, warmth and competence, which shape and motivate our social emotions, intentions, and behaviors. She examines how these social perception and influence processes play out in domains such as hiring, promotion, and charitable giving, for example. Her most recent work investigates how brief nonverbal expressions of competence/power and warmth/connection actually alter the neuroendocrine levels, expressions, and behaviors of the people making the expressions, even when the expressions are "posed." In fact, "power posing" (i.e., sitting or standing in expansive, space-consuming postures) for just a few minutes before a job interview can significantly increase a candidate's performance and likelihood of getting the job. Her research has been published in top academic journals, including Science, Journal of Personality and Social PsychologyTrends in Cognitive SciencesPsychological Science, Research in Organizational Behavior, and Advances in Experimental Social Psychology.