Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Nalini Ambady

Nalini Ambady


Professor Nalini Ambady died of leukemia on October 28, 2013, after a lengthy worldwide campaign by family members, friends, and students to find a bone marrow donor. Social Psychology Network is maintaining this profile for visitors who wish to learn more about Professor Ambady's work.

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Nalini Ambady received her Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University and taught at Holy Cross College, Harvard University, where she was the John and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the Social Science, and Tufts University, where she was the Neubauer Faculty Fellow and Professor, before moving to Stanford University in 2011. Her research interests include examining the accuracy of social, emotional, and perceptual judgments, how personal and social identities affect cognition and performance, dyadic interactions (especially those involving status differentiated dyads), and nonverbal communication. She is particularly interested in applying innovative and integrative methods to examine these phenomena from multiple perspectives ranging from the biological to the sociocultural.

In a pioneering study on stigma, Ambady reminded female Asian students about their gender or their ethnicity prior to taking a math test. There are prevailing social stereotypes that suggest women are not good at math and that Asians are good at math. Her study showed that subtly cuing students' gender or ethnic identities affects their performance. Those whose ethnic identity was cued performed better on the test than the students whose gender identity was cued.

Primary Interests:

  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Nonverbal Behavior
  • Person Perception
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Research Methods, Assessment
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

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Journal Articles:

Other Publications:

Courses Taught:

  • Experimental Social Psychology Laboratory
  • Readings in Psychology
  • Research in Psychology

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