Jennifer Richeson is a social psychologist recognized for her work on the dynamics of race and racism, especially during the course of interracial interactions. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Richeson earned her Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Brown University in 1994 and her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Harvard University in 2000. She was an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth College prior to joining the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University where she is also a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, Association for Psychological Science, American Psychological Association, Society for Experimental Social Psychology, and Society for Personality and Social Psychology. In 2006, she was named one of 25 MacArthur “Genius” Fellows for her work as a leader in “highlighting and analyzing major challenges facing all races in America and in the continuing role played by prejudice and stereotyping in our lives.” She is also the recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contributions to Psychology from the American Psychological Association (APA), and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.

Research Interests

Professor Richeson's research examines psychological phenomena related to cultural diversity. Her work generally considers the ways in which sociocultural group memberships such as race, gender, and socio-economic status shape the way people think, feel, and behave, especially during interactions with members of different sociocultural groups. Specifically, she and her students examine antecedents and consequences of prejudice and stereotyping from the perspectives of both members of culturally devalued, stigmatized groups, as well as members of traditionally dominant societal groups. One primary focus of her lab is on the dynamics of interracial contact. This line of work has revealed the roles of concerns about appearing prejudiced (for racial majority individuals) and concerns about being the target of prejudice (for racial minority individuals) in shaping cognitive, affective, and behavioral dynamics of these interactions. Richeson has also found that these prejudice concerns also shape basic processes of mind and brain, including the allocation of attention and memory, as well as decision-making. Ultimately, Richeson's goal in developing these research streams is to contribute to the eradication of bigotry by gaining a better understanding of intergroup conflict and how best to realize the promise of culturally diverse environments.

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Primary Section

Section 52: Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 53: Social and Political Sciences