Kurt Hugenberg

Kurt Hugenberg
Indiana University Bloomington | IUB · Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Ph.D.

About

126
Publications
137,163
Reads
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6,610
Citations
Citations since 2016
56 Research Items
3927 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220200400600
20162017201820192020202120220200400600
20162017201820192020202120220200400600
Introduction
My research focuses on social cognition, stereotyping and prejudice, and face perception.
Additional affiliations
August 2018 - present
Indiana University Bloomington
Position
  • Professor
August 2003 - April 2018
Miami University
Position
  • Professor
August 1998 - August 2003
Northwestern University

Publications

Publications (126)
Article
Full-text available
According to much research, the Own Group Bias (OGB) in face memory occurs as a consequence of social categorization - ingroup members are more likely than outgroup members to be encoded as individuals and remembered well. The current work is an examination of the role of anticipated future interaction in the OGB. We conducted two studies showing t...
Article
Full-text available
Social rejection causes a host of interpersonal consequences, including increases in reaffiliative behaviors. In two experiments, we show that reaffiliation motivation stemming from rejection biases perceptions of one’s distance from a social target, making others seem closer than they are. In Experiment 1, participants who had written about reject...
Article
We hypothesized that perceivers high in sexual prejudice would fail to unitize romantically involved men into a single mental representation, instead perceiving the men as separate individuals. Two studies provided support for our hypothesis. In Study 1, sexual prejudice predicted perceptions of compatibility, intimacy, emotional satisfaction, and...
Article
Full-text available
The own-race bias (ORB) is the tendency for perceivers to better recognize own-race than cross-race (CR) faces. Perceptual approaches to understanding this effect suggest that perceivers typically have low levels of processing experience with CR faces, resulting in poor recognition memory. However, social–cognitive models have demonstrated that per...
Article
Full-text available
We present a theoretical model of reappropriation-taking possession of a slur previously used exclusively by dominant groups to reinforce another group's lesser status. Ten experiments tested this model and established a reciprocal relationship between power and self-labeling with a derogatory group term. We first investigated precursors to self-la...
Article
Prior research has found that various job candidate characteristics can influence hiring decisions. The current work used experimental methods to test how a novel, appearance‐based cue known as a facial width‐to‐height ratio (fWHR) can bias hiring preferences. A first study provides evidence for our initial hypothesis: people believed high fWHR can...
Article
Full-text available
Robot faces often differ from human faces in terms of their facial features (e.g., lack of eyebrows) and spatial relationships between these features (e.g., disproportionately large eyes), which can influence the degree to which social brain [i.e., Fusiform Face Area (FFA), Superior Temporal Sulcus (STS); Haxby et al., 2000 ] areas process them as...
Article
By magnifying gender‐ and socioeconomic status‐based inequalities, the COVID‐19 pandemic caused stress and disrupted career progress for professional students. The present work investigated the impact of pandemic‐related stress and prevailing barriers on structurally disadvantaged women preparing for a high‐stakes professional exam. In Study 1, we...
Article
Full-text available
Brands often employ spokespersons to serve as the face of their organization and spokespersons characteristics can influence consumer behavior. We examined whether a subtle, appearance‐based aspect—facial width‐to‐height ratio (fWHR)—affects brand judgments. Specifically, we demonstrate that high (low) fWHR spokespersons are more effective for rugg...
Article
Full-text available
Across six studies, we tested how people with physical disabilities were ascribed mental faculties. People with physical disabilities were seen as more capable of mental agency (e.g., thinking), but not more capable of experience (e.g., pain), compared to nondisabled people (Study 1). People with physical disabilities were also seen as more capable...
Article
Inferring humans’ complex emotions is challenging but can be done with surprisingly limited emotion signals, including merely the eyes alone. Here, we test for a role of lower-level perceptual processes involved in such sensitivity using the well-validated Reading the Mind in the Eyes task. Over three experiments, we manipulated configural processi...
Article
Past research has demonstrated a link between facial expressions and mind perception, yet why expressions, especially happy expressions, influence mind attribution remains unclear. Conducting four studies, we addressed this issue. In Study 1, we investigated whether the valence or behavioral intention (i.e., approach or avoidance) implied by differ...
Article
Parents posting photos and other information about children on social media is increasingly common and a recent source of controversy. We investigated characteristics that predict parental sharing behavior by collecting information from 493 parents of young children in the United States on self-reported demographics, social media activity, parentin...
Article
Full-text available
Black men are generally stereotyped as physically formidable and threatening. Across 3 studies, we investigate whether this threat stereotyping is diluted when Black men are obese. We competitively tested two hypotheses investigating whether obese Black men are seen as less racially stereotypical overall, or as uniquely less threatening (but still...
Article
Impressions of role leaders provide information about anticipated opportunities in a role, and these perceptions can influence attitudes about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) pathways. Specifically, the facial structures of role leaders influenced perceived affordances of working with that person, such as the availability o...
Article
Full-text available
One reason for the persistence of racial discrimination may be anticipated dissimilarity with racial outgroup members that prevent meaningful interactions. In the present research, we investigated whether perceived similarity would impact the processing of same-race and other-race faces. Specifically, in two experiments, we varied the extent to whi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Past research has demonstrated a link between facial expressions and mind perception, yet why expressions, especially happy expressions, influence mind attribution remains unclear. Conducting four studies, we addressed this issue. In Study 1, we investigated whether the valence or behavioral intention (i.e., approach or avoidance) implied by differ...
Article
Five experiments investigate the hypothesis that heavier weight individuals are denied mental agency (i.e., higher order cognitive and intentional capacities), but not experience (e.g., emotional and sensory capacities), relative to average weight individuals. Across studies, we find that as targets increase in weight, they are denied mental agency...
Article
Across six studies ( N = 904), we suggest a novel mechanism for race disparities in pain treatment: Perceiver deficits in discriminating real from fake pain for Black (relative to White) individuals. Across Studies 1–4, White participants (Studies 1–4) and Black participants (Study 2) were better at discerning authentic from inauthentic pain expres...
Article
Objective: Trust is fundamental to successful educational relationships. Yet, numerous barriers inhibit the development of trust between students of color (SOC) and White instructors. The current research examined a metacognitive obstacle to the development of cross-race classroom trust: Primarily External Race Motives (PERM). PERM was defined as...
Article
Research on spatial frequency contributions to facial emotion identification has largely focused on basic emotions. The present experiment characterised spatial frequency contributions to decoding complex emotions, which can be less visible and intense than basic emotions. We investigated the effects of spatial frequency, expression valence and per...
Article
Inferring others' complex emotions is central to ascribing humanness to others. However, little past research has investigated the perceptual processes linking the inference of complex emotions to judging others' humanness. To this end, we disrupted the low-level perceptual processes typically employed in face processing via face inversion. Of inte...
Article
Across 10 experiments (N = 1584), we investigated biases in assumptions about pain sensitivity as an explanation for pain treatment disparities across socioeconomic status (SES). We find that lower-SES individuals are believed to feel less pain than higher-SES individuals (Studies 1a-1c), and this effect persists across target demographics includin...
Chapter
Full-text available
This study tested the effect of visual attention on decision-making in digital environments. Fifty-nine individuals were asked how likely they would be to share 40 memes (photos with superimposed captions) on social media while their eye movements were tracked. The likelihood of sharing memes increased as attention to the text of the meme increased...
Article
Recognizing others' humanity is fundamental to how people think about and treat each other. People often ascribe greater humanness to groups that they socially value, but do they also systematically ascribe social value to different individuals? Here, we tested whether people (de)humanize individuals based on social traits inferred from their facia...
Article
Objective The current study explores whether personal social network characteristics are associated with older adults’ memory and/or social cognitive function (e.g., ability to infer other’s mental states – theory of mind). Methods 120 older adults completed a social network interview, a memory measure, and two core measures of social cognitive fu...
Article
In the present work, we review a growing programme of research identifying deficits in race-based interpersonal sensitivity, specifically emotion detection, as a route to creating pitfalls in interracial interactions and generating race-based disparities. Most existing research examining race disparities takes a bias perspective – focusing on how s...
Article
Full-text available
Social pain, defined as responses to aversive interpersonal experiences (e.g., ostracism, unfairness, disrespect), has profound effects on health and well-being. Yet, research indicates that race biases judgments of social pain, leading people to believe that Black individuals experience less social pain than White individuals. The current work ext...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We investigate the effects of perspective taking, privacy cues, and portrayal of photo subjects (i.e., photo valence) on decisions to share photos of people via social media. In an online experiment we queried 379 participants about 98 photos (that were previously rated for photo valence) in three conditions: (1) Baseline: participants judged their...
Article
Full-text available
We tested the novel hypothesis that the dehumanization of prisoners varies as a function of how soon they will be released from prison. Seven studies indicate that people ascribe soon-to-be-released prisoners greater mental sophistication than those with more time to serve, all other things being equal. Studies 3 to 6 indicate that these effects ar...
Article
Full-text available
Six studies tested the hypothesis that evaluators judge Black people less sensitive to social pain than White people. Social pain was operationalized as the psychological distress caused by experiences that damage social worth and interpersonal relationships (e.g., derogation, exclusion, unfairness). White evaluators judged both Black male (Studies...
Article
The current work investigates race-based biases in conceptualization of the facial appearance of police. We employ a reverse correlation procedure to demonstrate that Black Americans, relative to White Americans, conceptualize police officers’ faces as more negative, less positive, and more dominant. We further find that these differential represen...
Article
The human face conveys a wealth of information, including traits, states, and intentions. Just as fundamentally, the face also signals the humanity of a person. In the current research we report two experiments providing evidence that disruptions of configural face encoding affect the temporal dynamics of categorization during attempts to distingui...
Article
Full-text available
The ascription of humanlike qualities to non-human stimuli (i.e., anthropomorphism) is a well-established phenomenon. To date, most research has examined top-down factors that motivate anthropomorphism, including individual differences in the tendency to project humanity onto nonhuman objects. However, recent evidence suggests that configural face...
Article
The present research comprises six experiments that investigated racial biases in the perception of positive emotional expressions. In an initial study, we demonstrated that White participants distinguished more in their happiness ratings of Duchenne (“true”) and non-Duchenne (“false”) smiles on White compared with Black faces (Experiment 1). In a...
Article
Full-text available
Existing research is inconclusive regarding the influence of perceiver gender and target gender on lie detection. Researchers have offered a number of conclusions regarding gender effects in deception detection (e.g., women are better at lie detection than men, participant and target gender interact in predicting deception detection accuracy, there...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research has linked facial expressions to mind perception. Specifically, Bowling and Banissy (2017) found that ambiguous doll-human morphs were judged as more likely to have a mind when smiling. Herein, we investigate 3 key potential boundary conditions of this “expression-to-mind” effect. First, we demonstrate that face inversion impairs th...
Article
In the present work, we introduce the Miami University Deception Detection Database (MU3D), a free resource containing 320 videos of target individuals telling truths and lies. Eighty (20 Black female, 20 Black male, 20 White female, and 20 White male) different targets were recorded speaking honestly and dishonestly about their social relationship...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate the practical applicability of video photoplethysmography (VPPG) to extract heart rates of subjects using noncontact color video recordings of human faces collected under typical indoor laboratory conditions using commercial video cameras. Videos were processed following three previously described simple VPPG algorithms to produce a...
Article
Full-text available
Perceivers tend to strongly agree about the basic trait information that they encode from faces. Although some research has found significant consistency for social inferences from faces viewed at multiple angles, disrupting configural processing can substantially alter the traits attributed to faces. Here, we reconciled these findings by examining...
Article
Full-text available
The accurate perception of others' pain is important for both perceivers and targets. Yet, like other person perception judgments, pain judgments are prone to biases. Although past work has begun detailing characteristics of targets that can bias pain judgments (e.g., race, gender), the current work examines a novel source of bias inherent to all t...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding others' minds has puzzled philosophers for centuries. Psychologists, too, have recently begun asking questions about what causes us to see another person as having complex or simple mental faculties. Here, we review recent evidence linking how we perceive others' faces with how we perceive others' minds—the face-mind link. We first di...
Article
Full-text available
In six studies, we investigated how ascribing humanlike versus animallike minds to targets influences how easily targets are individuated. Across the studies, participants learned to discriminate among a variety of “aliens” (actually Greebles). Our initial study showed that participants’ ability to learn to individuate targets was related to belief...
Article
Full-text available
The dehumanization of Black Americans is an ongoing societal problem. Reducing configural face processing, a well-studied aspect of typical face encoding, decreases the activation of human-related concepts to White faces, suggesting that the extent that faces are configurally processed contributes to dehumanization. Because Black individuals are mo...
Preprint
The accurate perception of others’ pain is important for both perceivers and targets. Yet, like other person perception judgments, pain judgments are prone to biases. Although past work has begun detailing characteristics of targets that can bias pain judgments (e.g., race, gender), the current work examines a novel source of bias inherent to all t...
Preprint
The ascription of mind to others is central to social cognition. Most research on the ascription of mind has focused on motivated, top-down processes. The current work provides novel evidence that facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) serves as a bottom-up perceptual signal of humanness. Using a range of well-validated operational definitions of huma...
Article
Full-text available
The ascription of mind to others is central to social cognition. Most research on the ascription of mind has focused on motivated, top-down processes. The current work provides novel evidence that facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) serves as a bottom-up perceptual signal of humanness. Using a range of well-validated operational definitions of huma...
Article
Full-text available
Black men tend to be stereotyped as threatening and, as a result, may be disproportionately targeted by police even when unarmed. Here, we found evidence that biased perceptions of young Black men's physical size may play a role in this process. The results of 7 studies showed that people have a bias to perceive young Black men as bigger (taller, h...
Article
Full-text available
In six studies (N = 605), participants made deception judgments about videos of Black and White targets who told truths and lies about interpersonal relationships. In Studies 1a, 1b, 1c, and 2, White participants judged that Black targets were telling the truth more often than they judged that White targets were telling the truth. This truth bias w...
Article
Full-text available
Although various motives underlie moral decision-making, recent research suggests that deontological moral decision-making may have evolved, in part, to communicate trustworthiness to conspecifics, thereby facilitating cooperative relations. Specifically, social actors whose decisions are guided by deontological (relative to utilitarian) moral reas...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to rapidly and accurately decode facial expressions is adaptive for human sociality. Although judgments of emotion are primarily determined by musculature, static face structure can also impact emotion judgments. The current work investigates how facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR), a stable feature of all faces, influences perceivers'...
Article
Full-text available
Black men tend to be stereotyped as threatening and, as a result, may be disproportionately targeted by police even when unarmed. Here, we found evidence that biased perceptions of young Black men’s physical size may play a role in this process. The results of 7 studies showed that people have a bias to perceive young Black men as bigger (taller, h...
Chapter
Full-text available
The primary aim of this chapter is to provide a framework to understand and synthesize the processes of person construal—early perceptions that lead to initial ingroup/outgroup categorizations—with the processes involved in intergroup relations. To this end, we review research examining the initial perception and categorization of ingroup and outgr...
Chapter
Full-text available
Perceivers show worse memory for other-race than own-race faces. Much of the interest in this own-race bias (ORB) stems from the problems that it may introduce in eyewitness misidentification. Here we focus on extending our categorization-individuation model of the ORB. This model proposes that the ORB and other group-based memory biases result fro...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research has demonstrated that ascribing minds to human-like stimuli is a product of both their perceptual similarity to human faces and whether they engaged configural face processing. We present the findings of two experiments where we both manipulate the amount of humanlike features in faces (in a doll-to-human morph continuum) and manipu...
Article
Full-text available
Eye gaze is a potent source of social information with direct eye gaze signaling the desire to approach and averted eye gaze signaling avoidance. In the current work, we proposed that eye gaze signals whether or not to impute minds into others. Across three studies, we manipulate the eye gaze of targets’ faces (direct versus averted gaze) and measu...
Article
Full-text available
Across three studies, we test the hypothesis that the perceived “humanness” of a human face can have its roots, in part, in low-level, feature-integration processes typical of normal face perception—configural face processing. We provide novel evidence that perceptions of humanness/dehumanization can have perceptual roots. Relying on the well-estab...
Article
Full-text available
Experimental exclusion manipulations may induce exclusion in a way that participants perceive as unfair. Groups often use exclusion punitively to correct inappropriate behavior, however, which may lead to perceptions that it is potentially justified or fair. The current studies examined if individuals' perceptions of fairness with respect to an exc...
Article
Full-text available
The current research provides novel evidence for motivational trade-offs between the two fundamental human goals of pursuing social affiliation and avoiding disease. In Study 1, participants completed a writing prime that manipulated inclusionary status and found that socially excluded participants indicated lower feelings of current disease suscep...
Article
Full-text available
In the current research, we extend past work on the effects of ambient darkness and threat to the domain of memory for expressive faces. In one study, we examined the effects of ambient darkness and individual differences in state anxiety on memory of unfamiliar expressive faces. Here, participants were seated in either a dark or light room and enc...
Article
Faces are processed in a configural manner (i.e., without decomposition into individual face features), an effect attributed to humans having a high degree of face processing expertise. However, even when perceiver expertise is accounted for, configural processing is subject to a number of influences, including the social relevance of a face. In th...