[Note: Professor Nalini Ambady died of leukemia October 28, 2013, after a lengthy worldwide campaign by family members, friends, and students to find a bone marrow donor; for details, please see her obituary in the Stanford Report. Social Psychology Network is maintaining this profile for visitors who wish to learn more about Professor Ambady's work.]
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.
- 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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- Ambady, N., Shih, M., Kim, A., & Pittinsky, T. L. (2001). Stereotype susceptibility in children: Effects of identity activation on quantitative performance. Psychological Science, 12(5), 385-390.
- Elfenbein, H. A., & Ambady, N. (2003). Universals and cultural differences in recognizing emotions. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12(5), 159-164.
- Ambady, N., & Gray, H. M. (2002). On being sad and mistaken: Mood effects on the accuracy of thin-slice judgments. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 83(4), 947-961.
- Shih, M., Ambady, N., Richeson, J. A., Fujita, K., & Gray, H. M. (2002). Stereotype performance boosts: The impact of self-relevance and the manner of stereotype activation. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 83(3), 638-647.
- Slepian, M. L., Weisbuch, M., Rule, N. O., & Ambady, N. (2011). Tough and tender: Embodied categorization of gender. Psychological Science, 22, 26-28.
- Rule, N. O., Rosen, K. S., Slepian, M. L., & Ambady, N. (2011). Mating interest improves women's accuracy in judging male sexual orientation. Psychological Science, 22, 881-886.
- Rule, N. O., & Ambady, N. (2011). Judgments of power from college yearbook photos and later career success. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2, 154-158.
- Freeman, J. B., & Ambady, N. (2011). A dynamic interactive theory of person construal. Psychological Review, 1-33.
- Rule, N. O., & Ambady, N. (2008). Brief exposures: Male sexual orientation is accurately perceived at 50 ms. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 1100-1105.
- Chiao, J. Y., Heck, H. E., Nakayama, K., & Ambady, N. (2006). Priming racial identity in biracial observers affects visual search for different race faces. Psychological Science, 17, 388-393.
- Chiao, J. Y., Bordeaux, A. R., & Ambady, N. (2004). Mental representation of social status. Cognition, 93, 49-57.
- Ambady, N., Paik, S. K., Steele, J., Owen-Smith, A., & Mitchell J. P. (2004). Deflecting negative self-relevant stereotype activation: The effects of individuation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40, 401-408.
- Chiu, P., Ambady, N., & Deldin, P. (2004). Contingent negative variation to emotional in- and out-group stimuli differentiates high- and low-prejudiced individuals. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 16, 1830-1839.
- Elfenbein, H. A., & Ambady, N. (2002). On the universality and cultural specificity of emotion recognition: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 203-235.
- Elfenbein, H. A., & Ambady, N. (2003). When familiarity breeds accuracy: Cultural exposure and facial emotion recognition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(2), 276-290.
- Gray, H. M., Ambady, N., Lowenthal, W. T., & Deldin, P. (2004). P300 as an index of attention to self-relevant stimuli. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40(2), 216-224.
- Ambady, N., & Rosenthal, R. (1993). Half a minute: Predicting teacher evaluations from thin slices of nonverbal behavior and physical attractiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 431-441.
- Ambady, N., & Rosenthal, R. (1992). Thin slices of expressive behavior as predictors of interpersonal consequences: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 111, 256-274.
- Experimental Social Psychology Laboratory
- Readings in Psychology
- Research in Psychology