Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Emily Balcetis

Emily Balcetis

  • Media Contact
  • SPN Mentor

I am interested in the conscious and nonconscious ways people fundamentally orient to the world. In particular, I focus on how the motivations, emotions, needs, and goals people hold impact the basic ways people perceive, interpret, and ultimately react to information around them. I advocate for an interactive cognitive system where psychological states constrain the basic manner in which we perceive and react to our worlds. My work, then, explores motivational biases in visual and social perception and the consequential effects for behavior and navigation of the social world. In doing so, my research represents an intersection among social psychology, judgment and decision-making, social cognition, and perception.

Primary Interests:

  • Causal Attribution
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Person Perception
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

  • SPAM Lab: Social Perception Action and Motivation Laboratory

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Journal Articles:

  • Balcetis, E., & Dale, R. (2007). Conceptual set as a top-down constraint on visual object identification. Perception, 36(4), 581-595.
  • Balcetis, E., & Dunning, D. (2008). A mile in moccasins: How situational experience diminishes dispositionism in social inference. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38(1), 102-114.
  • Balcetis, E., & Dunning, D. (2007). Cognitive dissonance reduction and perception of the physical world. Psychological Science, 917-921.
  • Balcetis, E., & Dunning, D. (2006). See what you want to see: Motivational influences on visual perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 612-625.
  • Balcetis, E., Dunning, D., & Miller, R. (2008). Do collectivists “know themselves” better than individualists?: Cross-cultural studies of the “holier than thou” phenomenon. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1252-1267.
  • Caruso, E., Mead, N., & Balcetis, E. (2009). Political partisanship influences perception of biracial candidates’ skin tone. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106, 20168-20173.

Other Publications:

  • Balcetis, E., & Cole, S. (in press). Motivated perception in the service of self-deception. Invited chapter in C. Sedikides & M. Alicke (Eds.), Handbook of self-enhancement and self-protection. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Balcetis, E., & Dunning, D. (2010). Wishful seeing: Desired objects are seen as closer. Psychological Science, 21, 147-152.
  • Balcetis, E., & Dunning, D. (2010). Wishful seeing: Motivational influences on visual perception of the physical environment. In E. Balcetis, & G. D. Lassiter (Eds.), The social psychology of visual perception. New York: Psychology Press.
  • Balcetis, E., & Dunning, D. (2005). Judging for two: Some connectionist proposals for how the self informs and constrains social judgment. In M. Alice, D. Dunning, & J. Krueger (Eds.), Self and social judgment. New York: Psychology Press.

Courses Taught:

  • Automaticity in Social Cognition
  • Current Social Cognition
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Motivation
  • Research Methods in Social and Personality Psychology
  • Social Psychology of Visual Perception

Emily Balcetis
Department of Psychology
New York University
6 Washington Place
New York, New York 10003
United States of America

  • Phone: (212) 998-3998

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