Amy J.C. Cuddy

Associate Professor of Business Administration, Hellman Faculty Fellow

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy, Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, uses experimental methods to investigate how people judge and influence each other and themselves. Her research suggests that judgments along two critical trait dimensions – warmth/trustworthiness and competence/power – shape social interactions, determining such outcomes as who gets hired and who doesn’t, when we are more or less likely to take risks, why we admire, envy, or disparage certain people, elect politicians, or even target minority groups for genocide. 

Cuddy’s recent work focuses on how we embody and express these two competence and warmth, linking our body language to our hormone levels, our feelings, and our behavior. Her latest research illuminates how “faking” body postures that convey competence and power (“power posing”) – even for as little as two minutes -- changes our testosterone and cortisol levels, increases our appetite for risk, causes us to perform better in job interviews, and generally configures our brains to cope well in stressful situations. In short, as David Brooks summarized the findings, “If you act powerfully, you will begin to think powerfully.” Ultimately, Cuddy's research suggests that when people feel personally powerful, they become more present: better connected with their own thoughts and feelings, which helps them to better connect with the thoughts and feelings of others. Presence -- characterized by enthusiasm, confidence, engagement, and the ability to connect with and even captivate an audience -- boosts people's performance in a wide range of domains. 

Amy J. C. Cuddy is Associate Professor and Hellman Faculty Fellow in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. She holds a PhD in Psychology from Princeton University and BA in Social Psychology from the University of Colorado. Prior to joining HBS, Professor Cuddy was an Assistant Professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she taught Leadership in Organizations in the MBA program and Research Methods in the doctoral program; and an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University, where she taught Social Psychology. At Harvard, she has taught MBA courses on the psychology of persuasion, power, and negotiation, and in numerous executive education programs. 

Professor Cuddy studies the origins and outcomes of how we perceive and are influenced by other people, investigating the roles of variables such as stereotypes, emotions, nonverbal behaviors, and hormones.Her stereotyping research 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). Along with Susan Fiske (Princeton University) and Peter Glick (Lawrence University), Cuddy developed the Stereotype Content Model (SCM) and the Behaviors from Intergroup Affect and Emotions (BIAS) Map, which focus on judgments of other people and groups along two core trait dimensions, warmth and competence, and how these judgments shape and motivate our social emotions, intentions, and behaviors. 

Cuddy’s research with Dana Carney (UC-Berkeley) focuses on how nonverbal expressions of power (i.e., expansive, open, space-occupying postures) affect people’s feelings, behaviors, and hormone levels. In particular, their research shows that “faking” body postures associated with dominance and power (“power posing”) – even for as little as two minutes – increases people’s testosterone, decreases their cortisol, increases their appetite for risk, and causes them to perform better in job interviews. In short, as David Brooks summarized the findings, “If you act powerfully, you will begin to think powerfully.” Ultimately, Cuddy's research suggests that when people feel personally powerful, they become more present: better connected with their own thoughts and feelings, which helps them to better connect with the thoughts and feelings of others. Presence -- characterized by enthusiasm, confidence, engagement, and the ability to connect with and even captivate an audience -- boosts people's performance in a wide range of domains. 

Her research has been published in top academic journals, including Journal of Personality and Social PsychologyTrends in Cognitive SciencesPsychological Science, Research in Organizational Behavior, Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, and Science. She received the Alexander Early Career Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues in 2008, a Rising Star Award from the Association for Psychological Science in 2011, and her joint research with Dana Carney and Andy Yap was named one of the Top 10 Psychology Studies of 2010 by Psychology Today. Her research has been covered on CNN, MSNBC, by the New York TimesFinancial TimesTIME, Boston Globe, and Wall Street Journal, among other news outlets, and was featured in Harvard Business Review's Top 20 Breakthrough Ideas for 2009 ("Just Because I'm Nice, Don't Assume I'm Dumb"), Scientific American Mind in 2010 ("Mixed Impressions: How We Judge Others on Multiple Levels"), as the cover story in the Nov-Dec 2010 issue of Harvard Magazine ("The Psyche on Automatic"), in a 2011 David Brooks New York Times blog ("Matter Over Mind"), in Wired magazine in 2012 (“Strike a Pose, Harvard Business School Professor Amy Cuddy Has an Easy Life Hack: Stretch Out and Take Up Space”), and in Inc. magazine in 2012 (“Leadership Advice: Strike a Pose”).  She has also appeared on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 several times to discuss nonverbals in politics, and TIME magazine named Cuddy as one of 2012's 'Game Changers.' She has spoken at PopTech, TED,  TEDGlobal, and SXSW Interactive. Her 2012 TEDTalk ("Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are"), ranks among the top 5 most popular TEDTalks of all time. In May 2013, Business Insider named Cuddy as one of "50 Women Who are Changing the World." In 2014, Amy was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Journal Articles

  1. Preparatory Power Posing Affects Nonverbal Presence and Job Interview Outcomes

    Amy Cuddy, Caroline A. Wilmuth, Andy J. Yap and Dana R. Carney

    We tested whether engaging in expansive (vs. contractive) "power poses" before a stressful job interview—preparatory power posing—would enhance performance during the interview. Participants adopted high-power (i.e., expansive, open) poses or low-power (i.e., contractive, closed) poses, and then prepared and delivered a speech to two evaluators as part of a mock job interview. All interview speeches were videotaped and coded for overall performance and hireability, and for two potential mediators: verbal content (e.g., structure, content) and nonverbal presence (e.g., captivating, enthusiastic). As predicted, those who prepared for the job interview with high- (vs. low-) power poses performed better and were more likely to be chosen for hire; this relation was mediated by nonverbal presence, but not by verbal content. While previous research has focused on how a nonverbal behavior that is enacted during interactions and observed by perceivers affects how those perceivers evaluate and respond to the actor, this experiment focused on how a nonverbal behavior that is enacted before the interaction and unobserved by perceivers affects the actor's performance, which, in turn, affects how perceivers evaluate and respond to the actor. This experiment reveals a theoretically novel and practically informative result that demonstrates the causal relation between preparatory nonverbal behavior and subsequent performance and outcomes.

    Keywords: Power Posing; Social Evaluation; Nonverbal Behavior; presence; posture; job interviews; Behavior; Job Interviews;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, Amy, Caroline A. Wilmuth, Andy J. Yap, and Dana R. Carney. "Preparatory Power Posing Affects Nonverbal Presence and Job Interview Outcomes." Journal of Applied Psychology (in press). View Details
  2. Connect, Then Lead

    Amy J.C. Cuddy, Matthew Kohut and John Neffinger

    In puzzling over whether it's better to be feared or loved as a leader, Machiavelli famously said that, because it's nigh impossible to do both, leaders should opt for fear. Research from Harvard Business School's Amy Cuddy and consultants Matthew Kohut and John Neffinger refute that theory, arguing that leaders would do much better to begin with "love"—that is, to establish trust through warmth and understanding. Most leaders today approach their jobs by emphasizing competence, strength, and credentials. But without first building a foundation of trust, they run the risk of eliciting fear, resentment, or envy. Beginning with warmth allows trust to develop, facilitating both the exchange and the acceptance of ideas—people really hear your message and become open to it. Cultivating warmth and trust also boosts the quantity and quality of novel ideas that are produced. The best way to gain influence is to combine warmth and strength—as difficult as Machiavelli says that may be to do. In this article, the authors look at research from behavioral economics, social psychology, and other disciplines and offer practical tactics for leaders hoping to project a healthy amount of both qualities.

    Keywords: influence; trust; Leadership; Trust; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, Amy J.C., Matthew Kohut, and John Neffinger. "Connect, Then Lead." Harvard Business Review 91, nos. 7/8 (July–August 2013): 54–61. View Details
  3. The Ergonomics of Dishonesty: The Effect of Incidental Posture on Stealing, Cheating, and Traffic Violations

    Andy J. Yap, Abbie S. Wazlawek, Brian J. Lucas, Amy J.C. Cuddy and Dana R. Carney

    Can the structure of our everyday environment lead us to behave dishonestly? Four studies found that expansive postures incidentally imposed by our ordinary living environment lead to increases in dishonest behavior. The first three experiments found that individuals who engaged in expansive postures were more likely to steal money, cheat on a test, and commit traffic violations in a driving simulation. We also demonstrated that participants' sense of power mediated this effect. The final study found that automobiles with more expansive drivers' seats were more likely to be illegally parked on New York City streets. These findings are consistent with research showing that (a) postural expansiveness leads to a psychological and physiological state of power and (b) power leads to corrupt behavior.

    Keywords: design; dishonesty; embodiment; human factors; Nonverbal Behavior; Power; Design; Behavior; Crime and Corruption; Situation or Environment; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Yap, Andy J., Abbie S. Wazlawek, Brian J. Lucas, Amy J.C. Cuddy, and Dana R. Carney. "The Ergonomics of Dishonesty: The Effect of Incidental Posture on Stealing, Cheating, and Traffic Violations." Psychological Science 24, no. 11 (November 2013): 2281–2289. View Details
  4. Status Boundary Enforcement and the Categorization of Black-White Biracials

    Arnold K. Ho, Jim Sidanius, Amy J.C. Cuddy and Mahzarin R. Banaji

    Individuals who qualify equally for membership in more than one racial group are not judged as belonging equally to both of their parent groups, but instead are seen as belonging more to their lower status parent group. Why? The present paper begins to establish the role of individual differences and social context in hypodescent, the process of assigning multiracials the status of their relatively disadvantaged parent group. Specifically, in two experiments, we found that individual differences in social dominance orientation—a preference for group-based hierarchy and inequality—interacts with perceptions of socioeconomic threat to influence the use of hypodescent in categorizing half-Black, half-White biracial targets. Importantly, this paper begins to establish hypodescent as a "hierarchy-enhancing" social categorization.

    Keywords: hypodescent; social dominance orientation; intergroup threat; hierarchy maintenance; Equality and Inequality; Race Characteristics; Rank and Position; Attitudes; Identity;

    Citation:

    Ho, Arnold K., Jim Sidanius, Amy J.C. Cuddy, and Mahzarin R. Banaji. "Status Boundary Enforcement and the Categorization of Black-White Biracials." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 49, no. 5 (September 2013): 940–943. View Details
  5. Leadership Is Associated with Lower Levels of Stress

    Gary D. Sherman, J. J. Lee, A.J.C. Cuddy, Jonathan Renshon, Christopher Oveis, James J. Gross and Jennifer S. Lerner

    As leaders ascend to more powerful positions in their groups, they face ever-increasing demands. This has given rise to the common perception that leaders have higher stress levels than non-leaders. But if leaders also experience a heightened sense of control—a psychological factor known to have powerful stress-buffering effects—leadership should be associated with reduced stress levels. Using unique samples of real leaders, including military officers and government officials, we found that, compared to non-leaders, leaders had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and lower reports of anxiety (Study 1). In a second study, leaders holding more powerful positions exhibited lower cortisol levels and less anxiety than leaders holding less powerful positions, a relationship explained significantly by their greater sense of control. Altogether, these findings reveal a clear relationship between leadership and stress, with leadership level being inversely related to stress.

    Keywords: leadership; stress; cortisol; control; Leadership; Emotions; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Sherman, Gary D., J. J. Lee, A.J.C. Cuddy, Jonathan Renshon, Christopher Oveis, James J. Gross, and Jennifer S. Lerner. "Leadership Is Associated with Lower Levels of Stress." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109, no. 44 (October 30, 2012): 17903–17907. View Details
  6. Nations' Income Inequality Predicts Ambivalence in Stereotype Content: How Societies Mind the Gap

    Federica Durante, S. T. Fiske, Nicolas Kervyn and Amy J.C. Cuddy

    Income inequality undermines societies: the more inequality, the more health problems, social tensions, and the lower social mobility, trust, and life expectancy. Given people's tendency to legitimate existing social arrangements, the Stereotype Content Model (SCM) argues that ambivalence―perceiving many groups as either warm or competent, but not both―may help maintain socio-economic disparities. The association between stereotype ambivalence and income inequality in 37 cross-national samples from Europe, the Americas, Oceania, Asia, and Africa investigates how groups' overall warmth-competence, status-competence, and competition-warmth correlations vary across societies, and whether these variations associate with income inequality (Gini index). More unequal societies report more ambivalent stereotypes, while more equal ones dislike competitive groups and do not necessarily respect them as competent. Unequal societies may need ambivalence for system stability: income inequality compensates groups with partially positive social images.

    Keywords: stereotypes; power and influence; cross-cultural/cross-border; inequality; Prejudice and Bias; Equality and Inequality; Income Characteristics; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Durante, Federica, S. T. Fiske, Nicolas Kervyn, and Amy J.C. Cuddy. "Nations' Income Inequality Predicts Ambivalence in Stereotype Content: How Societies Mind the Gap." British Journal of Social Psychology 52, no. 4 (December 2013): 726–746. View Details
  7. Gendered Races: Implications for Interracial Marriage, Leadership Selection, and Athletic Participation

    Adam D. Galinsky, Erika V. Hall and Amy J.C. Cuddy

    Six studies explored the overlap between racial and gender stereotypes and the consequences of this overlap for interracial dating, leadership selection, and athletic participation. Two initial studies, utilizing explicit and implicit measures, captured the stereotype content of different racial groups: the Asian stereotype was seen as more feminine whereas the Black stereotype more masculine compared to the White stereotype. Study 3 found that preferences for masculinity versus femininity mediated White participants' attraction to Blacks relative to Asians. Analysis of the 2000 United States Census replicated this pattern with interracial marriages. In Study 5, Blacks were more likely and Asians less likely to be selected for a masculine leadership position compared to Whites. Study 6 analyzed the NCAA Student-Athlete Ethnicity Report and found Blacks were more heavily represented in masculine versus feminine sports relative to Asians. These studies demonstrate that the association between racial and gender stereotypes has important real-world consequences.

    Keywords: stereotypes; race; gender; attraction; leadership; Prejudice and Bias; Leadership; Race Characteristics; Attitudes; Family and Family Relationships; Sports; Gender Characteristics; United States;

    Citation:

    Galinsky, Adam D., Erika V. Hall, and Amy J.C. Cuddy. "Gendered Races: Implications for Interracial Marriage, Leadership Selection, and Athletic Participation." Psychological Science 24, no. 4 (April 2013): 498–506. View Details
  8. The Dynamics of Warmth and Competence Judgments, and Their Outcomes in Organizations

    Amy J.C. Cuddy, Peter Glick and Anna Beninger

    Two traits-warmth and competence-govern social judgments of individuals and groups, and these judgments shape people's emotions and behaviors. This paper describes the causes and consequences of warmth and competence judgments; how, when, and why they determine significant professional and organizational outcomes, such as hiring, employee evaluation, and allocation of tasks and resources. Warmth and competence represent the central dimensions of group stereotypes, the majority of which are ambivalent-characterizing groups as warm but incompetent (e.g., older people, working mothers) or competent but cold (e.g., model minorities, female leaders), in turn eliciting ambivalent feelings (i.e., pity and envy, respectively) and actions toward members of those groups. However, through nonverbal behaviors that subtly communicate warmth and competence information, people can manage the impressions they make on colleagues, potential employers, and possible investors. Finally, we discuss important directions for future research, such as investigating the causes and consequences of how organizations and industries are evaluated on warmth and competence.

    Keywords: Judgments; Organizations; Emotions; Behavior; Selection and Staffing; Performance Evaluation; Resource Allocation; Valuation; Competency and Skills; Information; Research;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, Amy J.C., Peter Glick, and Anna Beninger. "The Dynamics of Warmth and Competence Judgments, and Their Outcomes in Organizations." Research in Organizational Behavior 31 (2011): 73–98. View Details
  9. Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance

    Dana R. Carney, Amy J.C. Cuddy and Andy J. Yap

    Humans and other animals express power through open, expansive postures and powerlessness through closed, constrictive postures. But can these postures actually cause power? As predicted, results revealed that posing in high-power (vs. low-power) nonverbal displays caused neuroendocrine and behavioral changes for both male and female participants: high-power posers experienced elevations in testosterone, decreases in cortisol, and increased feelings of power and tolerance for risk; low-power posers exhibited the opposite pattern. In short, posing in powerful displays caused advantaged and adaptive psychological, physiological, and behavioral changes—findings that suggest that embodiment extends beyond mere thinking and feeling to physiology and subsequent behavioral choices. That a person can, via a simple two-minute pose, embody power and instantly become more powerful has real-world, actionable implications.

    Keywords: Risk and Uncertainty; Nonverbal Communication; Behavior; Decision Choices and Conditions; Gender Characteristics; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Carney, Dana R., Amy J.C. Cuddy, and Andy J. Yap. "Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance." Psychological Science 21, no. 10 (October 2010): 1363–1368. View Details
  10. Just Because I'm Nice, Don't Assume I'm Dumb

    Amy Cuddy

    We often judge colleagues on the basis of their perceived warmth and competence, finding clues to these qualities in stereotypes rooted in race, gender, or nationality. Many of our decisions about fellow workers are thus premised on faulty data—harming judged and judgers alike.

    Keywords: Prejudice and Bias; Perception; Nationality Characteristics; Race Characteristics; Judgments; Competency and Skills; Gender Characteristics;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, Amy. "Just Because I'm Nice, Don't Assume I'm Dumb." Breakthrough Ideas of 2009. Harvard Business Review 87, no. 2 (February 2009). View Details
  11. Stereotype Content Model across Cultures: Universal Similarities and Some Differences

    A.J.C. Cuddy, S.T. Fiske, V.S.Y. Kwan, P. Glick, S. Demoulin, J. Ph. Leyens and M.H. Bond

    The stereotype content model (SCM; Fiske, Cuddy, Glick, & Xu, 2002) proposes potentially universal principles of societal stereotypes and their relation to social structure. Here, the SCM reveals theoretically grounded, cross-cultural, cross-groups' similarities and one difference across 10 non-U.S. nations. Seven European (individualist) and three East Asian (collectivist) nations (N=1028) support three hypothesized cross-cultural similarities: (a) perceived warmth and competence reliably differentiate societal group stereotypes; (b) many outgroups receive mixed stereotypes (high on one dimension; low on the other); and (c) high-status groups stereotypically are competent, and competitive groups stereotypically lack warmth. Data uncover one consequential cross-cultural difference: (d) the more collectivist cultures do not locate reference groups (ingroups and societal prototype groups) in the most positive cluster (high-competence/high-warmth), unlike individualist data. This demonstrates outgroup derogation without obvious reference-group favoritism. SCM is a pancultural tool for predicting group stereotypes from structural relations with other groups in society and comparing across societies.

    Keywords: Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Relationships; Groups and Teams; Prejudice and Bias; Culture; Societal Protocols; East Asia; Europe;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, A.J.C., S.T. Fiske, V.S.Y. Kwan, P. Glick, S. Demoulin, J. Ph. Leyens, and M.H. Bond. "Stereotype Content Model across Cultures: Universal Similarities and Some Differences." British Journal of Social Psychology 48 (2009). View Details
  12. Social Structure Shapes Cultural Stereotypes and Emotions: A Causal Test of the Stereotype Content Model

    P. Caprariello, A.J.C. Cuddy and S.T. Fiske

    The stereotype content model (SCM) posits that social structure predicts specific cultural stereotypes and associated emotional prejudices (Fiske et al., 2002). No prior evidence at a societal level has manipulated both structural predictors and measured both stereotypes and prejudices. In the present study, participants (n = 120) responded to an immigration scenario depicting a high- or low-status group, competitive or not competitive, and rated their likely stereotype (on warmth and competence) and elicited emotional prejudices (admiration, contempt, envy, and pity). Seven of eight specific predictions are fully confirmed, supporting the SCM's predicted causality for social structural effects on cultural stereotypes and emotional prejudices.

    Keywords: Competency and Skills; Mathematical Methods; Emotions; Personal Characteristics; Prejudice and Bias; Status and Position; Culture; Competition;

    Citation:

    Caprariello, P., A.J.C. Cuddy, and S.T. Fiske. "Social Structure Shapes Cultural Stereotypes and Emotions: A Causal Test of the Stereotype Content Model." Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 12, no. 2 (2009): 147–155. View Details
  13. When Being a Model Minority Is Good...and Bad: Realistic Threat Explains Negativity Toward Asian Americans.

    W.W. Maddux, A. Galinsky, A.J.C. Cuddy and M. Polifroni

    The current research explores the hypothesis that realistic threat is one psychological mechanism that can explain how individuals can hold positive stereotypical beliefs toward Asian Americans yet also express negative attitudes and emotions toward them. Study 1 demonstrates that in a realistic threat context, attitudes and emotions toward an anonymous group described by only positive, "model minority" attributes are significantly more negative than when the group was described using other positive attributes. Study 2 demonstrates that realistic threat significantly mediates the relationship between (a) the endorsement of the both the positive and negative stereotypes of Asian Americans and (b) subsequent negative attitudes and emotions toward them. Studies 3 and 4 conceptually replicate this effect in experimental situations involving interactions with Asian Americans in realistic threat contexts. Implications for understanding the nature of stereotyping and prejudice toward Asian Americans and other minority groups are discussed.

    Keywords: Business Model; Prejudice and Bias; Ethnicity Characteristics; Groups and Teams; Attitudes; Emotions;

    Citation:

    Maddux, W.W., A. Galinsky, A.J.C. Cuddy, and M. Polifroni. "When Being a Model Minority Is Good...and Bad: Realistic Threat Explains Negativity Toward Asian Americans." Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin 34, no. 1 (January 2008): 74–89. View Details
  14. Warmth and Competence As Universal Dimensions of Social Perception: The Stereotype Content Model and the BIAS Map

    A. J.C. Cuddy, S. T. Fiske and P. Glick

    The stereotype content model (SCM) defines two fundamental dimensions of social perception, warmth and competence, predicted respectively by perceived competition and status. Combinations of warmth and competence generate distinct emotions of admiration, contempt, envy, and pity. From these intergroup emotions and stereotypes, the behavior from intergroup affect and stereotypes (BIAS) map predicts distinct behaviors: active and passive, facilitative and harmful. After defining warmth/communion and competence/agency, the chapter integrates converging work documenting the centrality of these dimensions in interpersonal as well as intergroup perception. Structural origins of warmth and competence perceptions result from competitors judged as not warm, and allies judged as warm; high status confers competence and low status incompetence. Warmth and competence judgments support systematic patterns of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral reactions, including ambivalent prejudices. Past views of prejudice as a univalent antipathy have obscured the unique responses toward groups stereotyped as competent but not warm or warm but not competent. Finally, the chapter addresses unresolved issues and future research directions.

    Keywords: Perception; Competency and Skills; Prejudice and Bias; Emotions; Business Model; Behavior; Research; Competition; Status and Position; Cognition and Thinking; Groups and Teams;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, A. J.C., S. T. Fiske, and P. Glick. "Warmth and Competence As Universal Dimensions of Social Perception: The Stereotype Content Model and the BIAS Map." Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 40 (2008): 61–149. View Details
  15. Aid in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: Inferences of Secondary Emotions and Intergroup Helping

    A.J.C. Cuddy, M. Rock and M. I. Norton

    Keywords: Natural Disasters; Emotions; Groups and Teams;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, A.J.C., M. Rock, and M. I. Norton. "Aid in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: Inferences of Secondary Emotions and Intergroup Helping." Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 10 (January 2007): 107–118. View Details
  16. This Old Stereotype: The Stubbornness and Pervasiveness of the Elderly Stereotype

    A.J.C. Cuddy, M. I. Norton and S. T. Fiske

    Americans stereotype elderly people as warm and incompetent, following from perceptions of them as noncompetitive and low status, respectively. This article extends existing research regarding stereotyping of older people in two ways. First, we discuss whether the mixed elderly stereotype is unique to American culture. Data from six non-U.S. countries, including three collectivist cultures, demonstrate elderly stereotypes are consistent across varied cultures. Second, we investigate the persistence of the evaluatively-mixed nature of the elderly stereotype. In an experiment, 55 college students rated less competent elderly targets (stereotype-consistent) as warmer than more competent (stereotype-inconsistent) and control elderly targets. We also discuss the type of discrimination—social exclusion—that elderly people often endure.

    Keywords: Prejudice and Bias; Age; Attitudes;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, A.J.C., M. I. Norton, and S. T. Fiske. "This Old Stereotype: The Stubbornness and Pervasiveness of the Elderly Stereotype." Journal of Social Issues 61, no. 2 (June 2005): 267–285. View Details
  17. A Threat in the Computer: The Race Implicit Association Test As a Stereotype Threat Experience.

    C.M. Frantz, A.J.C. Cuddy, M. Burnett, H. Ray and A. Hart

    Keywords: Technology; Attitudes; Experience and Expertise;

    Citation:

    Frantz, C.M., A.J.C. Cuddy, M. Burnett, H. Ray, and A. Hart. "A Threat in the Computer: The Race Implicit Association Test As a Stereotype Threat Experience." Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin 30, no. 12 (December 2004): 1611–1624. View Details
  18. A Model of (Often Mixed) Stereotype Content: Competence and Warmth Respectively Follow from Status and Competition

    S.T. Fiske, A.J.C. Cuddy, P. Glick and J. Xu

    Keywords: Attitudes; Competency and Skills; Competition; Rank and Position;

    Citation:

    Fiske, S.T., A.J.C. Cuddy, P. Glick, and J. Xu. "A Model of (Often Mixed) Stereotype Content: Competence and Warmth Respectively Follow from Status and Competition." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 82, no. 6 (June 2002): 878–902. View Details
  19. (Dis)Respecting versus (Dis)liking: Status and Interdepenences Predict Ambivalent Stereotypes of Competence and Warmth

    S.T. Fiske, J. Xu, A.J.C. Cuddy and P. Glick

    Keywords: Status and Position; Attitudes; Competency and Skills;

    Citation:

    Fiske, S.T., J. Xu, A.J.C. Cuddy, and P. Glick. "(Dis)Respecting versus (Dis)liking: Status and Interdepenences Predict Ambivalent Stereotypes of Competence and Warmth." Journal of Social Issues 55, no. 3 (fall 1999): 473–490. View Details

Book Chapters

  1. Stereotype Content and Relative Group Status Across Cultures

    S.T. Fiske and A.J.C. Cuddy

    Keywords: Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Prejudice and Bias; Status and Position; Groups and Teams;

    Citation:

    Fiske, S.T., and A.J.C. Cuddy. "Stereotype Content and Relative Group Status Across Cultures." In Social Comparison Processes and Levels of Analysis: Understanding Culture, Intergroup Relations and Cognition, edited by S. Guimond, 249–263. Cambridge University Press, 2006. View Details
  2. Doddering, but Dear: Process, Content, and Function in Stereotyping of Older Persons

    A.J.C. Cuddy and S.T. Fiske

    Keywords: Prejudice and Bias; Age Characteristics;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, A.J.C., and S.T. Fiske. "Doddering, but Dear: Process, Content, and Function in Stereotyping of Older Persons." In Ageism: Stereotyping and Prejudice Against Older Persons, edited by T. Nelson, 3 – 26. MIT Press, 2002. View Details
  3. Emotions Up and Down: Intergroup Emotions Result from Status and Competition

    S.T. Fiske, A.J.C. Cuddy and P. Glick

    Keywords: Emotions; Groups and Teams; Status and Position; Competition;

    Citation:

    Fiske, S.T., A.J.C. Cuddy, and P. Glick. "Emotions Up and Down: Intergroup Emotions Result from Status and Competition." In From Prejudice to Intergroup Emotions: Differentiated Reactions to Social Groups, edited by D.M. Mackie and E.R. Smith, 247 – 264. New York: Psychology Press, 2002. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Qantas Luxury: Grounded Flights, First-Class Pajamas and Twitter Hashtags (A)

    Amy J.C. Cuddy, Cassandra L. Govan, David T. Neal and Anna M. Coster

    Keywords: air transportation; social media; Labor relations; brand management; Air Transportation Industry; Australia;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, Amy J.C., Cassandra L. Govan, David T. Neal, and Anna M. Coster. "Qantas Luxury: Grounded Flights, First-Class Pajamas and Twitter Hashtags (A)." Harvard Business School Case 913-007, May 2013. View Details
  2. OPOWER: Increasing Energy Efficiency through Normative Influence (A)

    Amy J.C. Cuddy, Kyle Todd Doherty and Maarten W. Bos

    The case profiles OPOWER, an energy efficiency software company that applies Cialdini's principles of social influence to successfully encourage consumers to reduce their energy usage. OPOWER was co-founded in 2008 by two young Harvard graduates, Dan Yates and Alex Laskey, who were inspired by Robert Cialdini's behavioral science research showing that people's normative beliefs - and messaging tailored to those beliefs - had a powerful and measurable impact on their energy-conserving behaviors. Yates and Laskey redesigned the home energy bill to include normative messaging, including feedback on how consumers' energy usage compares to their neighbors' usage. Through early trials of the program, the electrical utilities began seeing 1.5% to 3.5% savings in energy usage, almost immediately. After the rapid success of OPOWER's first three years, Yates and Laskey wondered whether their approach would produce sustainable results: what strategy should they pursue to ensure that consumers continue to read and respond to the normative messaging in the "Energy Bill 2.0"?

    Keywords: Mathematical Methods; Software; Attitudes; Entrepreneurship; Energy Conservation; Power and Influence; Growth and Development Strategy; Energy Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, Amy J.C., Kyle Todd Doherty, and Maarten W. Bos. "OPOWER: Increasing Energy Efficiency through Normative Influence (A)." Harvard Business School Case 911-016, September 2010. (Revised January 2012.) View Details
  3. OPOWER: Increasing Energy Efficiency through Normative Influence (B)

    Maarten W. Bos, Amy J.C. Cuddy and Kyle Todd Doherty

    The case profiles OPOWER, an energy efficiency software company that applies Cialdini's principles of social influence to successfully encourage consumers to reduce their energy usage. OPOWER was co-founded in 2008 by two young Harvard graduates, Dan Yates and Alex Laskey, who were inspired by Robert Cialdini's behavioral science research showing that people's normative beliefs - and messaging tailored to those beliefs - had a powerful and measurable impact on their energy-conserving behaviors. Yates and Laskey redesigned the home energy bill to include normative messaging, including feedback on how consumers' energy usage compares to their neighbors' usage. Through early trials of the program, the electrical utilities began seeing 1.5% to 3.5% savings in energy usage, almost immediately. After the rapid success of OPOWER's first three years, Yates and Laskey wondered whether their approach would produce sustainable results: what strategy should they pursue to ensure that consumers continue to read and respond to the normative messaging in the "Energy Bill 2.0"?

    Keywords: Energy Conservation;

    Citation:

    Bos, Maarten W., Amy J.C. Cuddy, and Kyle Todd Doherty. "OPOWER: Increasing Energy Efficiency through Normative Influence (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 911-061, May 2011. (Revised January 2012.) View Details
  4. Congressional Candidate Dan Silver and KNP Communications (TN)

    Amy J.C. Cuddy and Nithyasri Sharma

    Teaching Note for 910013.

    Keywords: Political Elections; Voting; Personal Characteristics; Competency and Skills; Reputation; Consulting Industry;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, Amy J.C., and Nithyasri Sharma. "Congressional Candidate Dan Silver and KNP Communications (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 911-062, April 2011. View Details
  5. To Catch a Vandal: A Power and Influence Exercise (TN)

    Amy J.C. Cuddy, Meredith Hodges and Ruwan Tharindu Gunatilake

    Teaching Note for 911013.

    Keywords: Voting; Theory; Debates; Games, Gaming, and Gambling; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, Amy J.C., Meredith Hodges, and Ruwan Tharindu Gunatilake. "To Catch a Vandal: A Power and Influence Exercise (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 911-063, April 2011. View Details
  6. To Catch a Vandal: A Power & Influence Exercise

    Amy J.C. Cuddy, Ruwan Tharindu Gunatilake and Meredith Hodges

    This exercise is based on the "Mafia" game created by psychologist Dimma Davidoff, and is designed to give students a broad introduction to multiple theories of influence and to challenge their instincts about which techniques are the most powerful and how they may be employed. In this version, two section-mates have been linked to the vandalizing of school property. Students are secretly assigned to different roles (e.g., Moderator, Vandals, Leadership and Values Representative, and Innocent Section Members), and the object of the game is for the players to debate the identities of the Vandals and vote to eliminate suspects.

    Keywords: Nonverbal Communication; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Management Skills; Groups and Teams; Power and Influence; Trust;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, Amy J.C., Ruwan Tharindu Gunatilake, and Meredith Hodges. "To Catch a Vandal: A Power & Influence Exercise." Harvard Business School Exercise 911-013, August 2010. (Revised October 2012.) View Details
  7. Congressional Candidate Dan Silver and KNP Communications

    Amy J.C. Cuddy and Nithyasri Sharma

    In the 2006 election cycle, Ron Klein was running for the U.S. Congressional seat from Florida's 22nd District. He was up against Rep. Clay Shaw, a popular 26-year incumbent with significant name recognition in the district. Leading up to the election, Klein's campaign manager realized that Klein had to find a way to relate to his voters on a personal level if he wanted to win the election and advised him to work with KNP Communications, a consulting firm. Over the course of a few sessions, Klein worked with the team from KNP to learn techniques that would help him connect with his voters. On election night, Klein wondered if KNP's training had allowed him to successfully connect with his voters and, more importantly, if this personal connection mattered more to voters than his competence and skills.

    Keywords: Interpersonal Communication; Competency and Skills; Political Elections; Personal Characteristics; Public Administration Industry; Florida;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, Amy J.C., and Nithyasri Sharma. "Congressional Candidate Dan Silver and KNP Communications." Harvard Business School Case 910-013, September 2009. (Revised August 2010.) View Details

Editorials and Blogs

  1. Tonight's Presidential Debate Will Be Decided by Body Language

    Amy Cuddy

    Keywords: debates; Nonverbal Behavior; persuasion; influence; public speaking; Nonverbal Communication; Behavior; Debates; Power and Influence;

Working Papers

  1. iPosture: The Size of Electronic Consumer Devices Affects Our Behavior

    Maarten W. Bos and Amy J.C. Cuddy

    We examined whether incidental body posture, prompted by working on electronic devices of different sizes, affects power-related behaviors. Grounded in research showing that adopting expansive body postures increases psychological power, we hypothesized that working on larger devices, which forces people to physically expand, causes users to behave more assertively. Participants were randomly assigned to interact with one of four electronic devices that varied in size: an iPod Touch, an iPad, a MacBook Pro (laptop computer), or an iMac (desktop computer). As hypothesized, compared to participants working on larger devices (e.g., an iMac), participants who worked on smaller devices (e.g., an iPad) behaved less assertively—waiting longer to interrupt an experimenter who had made them wait, or not interrupting at all.

    Keywords: Technology; Behavior; Health; Size; Outcome or Result; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Bos, Maarten W., and Amy J.C. Cuddy. "iPosture: The Size of Electronic Consumer Devices Affects Our Behavior." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 13-097, May 2013. View Details
  2. Men as Cultural Ideals: How Culture Shapes Gender Stereotypes

    Amy J.C. Cuddy, Susan Crotty, Jihye Chong and Michael I. Norton

    Three studies demonstrate how culture shapes the contents of gender stereotypes, such that men are perceived as possessing more of whatever traits are culturally valued. In Study 1, Americans rated men as less interdependent than women; Koreans, however, showed the opposite pattern, rating men as more interdependent than women, deviating from the "universal" gender stereotype of male independence. In Study 2, bi-cultural Korean American participants rated men as less interdependent if they completed a survey in English, but as more interdependent if they completed the survey in Korean, demonstrating how cultural frames influence the contents of gender stereotypes. In Study 3, American college students rated a male student as higher on whichever trait—ambitiousness or sociability—they were told was the most important cultural value at their university, establishing that cultural values causally impact the contents of gender stereotypes.

    Keywords: Prejudice and Bias; Perception; Values and Beliefs; Gender Characteristics; Culture; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Cuddy, Amy J.C., Susan Crotty, Jihye Chong, and Michael I. Norton. "Men as Cultural Ideals: How Culture Shapes Gender Stereotypes." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 10-097, May 2010. View Details