Neil Hester

Neil Hester
McGill University | McGill · Department of Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy

About

21
Publications
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238
Citations
Introduction

Publications

Publications (21)
Article
Racial attitudes, beliefs, and motivations lie at the center of many influential theories of prejudice and discrimination. The extent to which such theories can meaningfully explain behavior hinges on accurate measurement of these latent constructs. We evaluated the validity properties of 25 race-related scales in a sample of 910,066 respondents us...
Article
Full-text available
Affective polarization is a rising threat to political discourse and democracy. Public figures have expressed that “conservatives think liberals are stupid, and liberals think conservatives are evil." However, four studies (N=1,660)—including a representative sample—reveal evidence that both sides view political opponents as more unintelligent than...
Preprint
Racial attitudes, beliefs, and motivations lie at the center of many of the most influential theories of prejudice and discrimination. The extent to which such theories can meaningfully explain behavior hinges on accurate measurement of these latent constructs. We evaluated the validity properties of 25 race-related scales in a sample of 1,031,207...
Article
Full-text available
To what extent are perceivers’ first impressions of other individuals dictated by cultural background rather than personal idiosyncrasies? To address this question, we analyzed a globally diverse data set containing 11,481 adult participants’ ratings of 120 targets across 45 countries (2,597,624 total ratings). Across ratings of 13 traits, we found...
Preprint
To what extent are perceivers’ first impressions of others dictated by cultural background versus personal idiosyncrasies? To address this question, we analyzed a globally diverse dataset containing 11,481 adult participants’ ratings of 120 targets across 45 countries (2,597,624 total ratings). Across ratings of 13 traits, we find that perceivers’...
Article
In person perception research, femininity and masculinity are regularly conceived as 2 ends of 1 bipolar dimension. This unidimensional understanding permeates work on facial impressions, gender diagnosticity, and perceptions of LGBTQ individuals, but it is perhaps most prominent in evolutionary work suggesting that sexually dimorphic facial featur...
Preprint
In person perception research, femininity and masculinity are regularly conceived as two ends of one bipolar dimension. This unidimensional understanding permeates work on facial impressions, gender diagnosticity, and perceptions of LGBTQ individuals—but, it is perhaps most prominent in evolutionary work suggesting that sexually dimorphic facial fe...
Article
Patterns of discrimination are often complex (i.e., multiplicative), such that different identities combine to yield especially potent discrimination. For example, Black men are disproportionately stopped by police to a degree that cannot be explained by simple (i.e., additive) effects of being Black and being male. Researchers often posit correspo...
Preprint
We report the results of preregistered analyses of the PSA001 face perception data. We tested whether the target-level intra-class correlations (ICCs) would be higher in specific regions (i.e., more culturally homogeneous samples) than in the global data set (i.e., a less culturally homogeneous sample). We also report perceiver-level ICCs as well a...
Article
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Violent encounters between police and Black people have spurred debates about how race affects officer decision-making. We propose that racial disparities in police–civilian interactions are amplified when police interact with Black civilians who are encountered in groups. To test this possibility, we analyzed New York City stop and frisk data for...
Article
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Do people generally view others as good or evil? Although people generally cooperate with others and view others' "true selves" as intrinsically good, we suggest that they are likely to assume that the actions of others are evil-at least when they are ambiguous. Nine experiments provide support for promiscuous condemnation: the general tendency to...
Article
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Moral psychology uses tightly controlled scenarios in which the identities of the characters are either unspecified or vague. Studies with raceless genderless strangers help to highlight the important structural elements of moral acts (e.g., intention, causation, harm), but may not generalize to real-world judgments. As researchers have long shown,...
Article
Humans automatically form first impressions based on others' appearance, including their perceived emotional state. When others' facial expressions are neutral, or "resting," people nevertheless infer emotion, which they overgeneralize to trait judgments such as attractiveness and threat. I argue that perceived resting negative emotion (PRNE) predi...
Article
Previous research on attributions in schizophrenia has focused on whether individuals make hostile, intentional attributions for ambiguous negative events. It is unclear, however, whether individuals with schizophrenia differ from controls in their general judgments of intentionality judgments in nonconflict and emotionally neutral situations. Rese...
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Literature and art have long depicted God as a stern and elderly white man, but do people actually see Him this way? We use reverse correlation to understand how a representative sample of American Christians visualize the face of God, which we argue is indicative of how believers think about God's mind. In contrast to historical depictions, Americ...
Article
Height seems beneficial for men in terms of salaries and success; however, past research on height examines only White men. For Black men, height may be more costly than beneficial, primarily signaling threat rather than competence. Three studies reveal the downsides of height in Black men. Study 1 analyzes over 1 million New York Police Department...
Article
Full-text available
Many people believe in immortality, but who is perceived to live on and how exactly do they live on? Seven studies reveal that good- and evil-doers are perceived to possess more immortality—albeit different kinds. Good-doers have “transcendent” immortality, with their souls persisting beyond space and time; evil-doers have “trapped” immortality, wi...
Article
Self-stigma leads sufferers of psychiatric conditions to experience reduced self-efficacy and self-esteem as well as avoid treatment, employment, and social opportunities. There is a dearth of research on the mechanisms underlying individuals' ability to resist stigmatizing beliefs; furthermore, research has revealed limitations in current popular...
Article
On the relationship between positive and negative affect: Their correlation and their co-occurrence. Emotion. Abstract Understanding the nature of emotional experience requires understanding the relationship between positive and negative affect. Two particularly important aspects of that relationship are the extent to which positive and negative af...
Article
Introduction: Although social cognition skills and biases are well-studied in paranoia, “mind perception” – perceiving the extent to which someone even possesses a thinking, feeling mind – is not. We sought to better characterise the profile of mind perception for individuals with paranoia. Methods: We examined links between mind perception and par...
Article
Analogies help organize, communicate and reveal scientific phenomena. Vision may be the best analogy for understanding moral judgment. Although moral psychology has long noted similarities between seeing and judging, we systematically review the "morality is like vision" analogy through three elements: experience, variability and mechanism. Both vi...

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