News & Events

Press Release

PRINCETON PROFESSOR SUSAN FISKE GIVES BERNSTEIN MEMORIAL LECTURE AT BARD COLLEGE ON MARCH 13 Topic of talk is “The Perils of Prejudice: Emotional Biases in Brain, Mind, and Culture”

Emily M. Darrow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Susan T. Fiske, professor of psychology at Princeton University, is the speaker for the 2006 Andrew J. Bernstein Memorial Lecture on Monday, March 13. Free and open to the public, the program begins at 4:30 p.m. in Room 102, in the F. W. Olin Humanities Building at Bard College. The title of the talk is “The Perils of Prejudice: Emotional Biases in Brain, Mind, and Culture.” Fiske is known for her work on social cognition, racism, and the ways in which people form impressions of other people. Her work emphasizes the role of interdependence and power in stereotyping and considers the question “Where do stereotypes come from?” Fiske’s current research addresses how stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination are encouraged or discouraged by social relationships, such as cooperation, competition, and power. The research begins with the premise that people easily categorize other people, especially based on race, gender, and age. Going beyond such categories, to learn about the individual person, requires motivation. Social relationships supply one form of motivation to individuate, and work shows that being on the same team or depending on another person makes people go beyond stereotypes. Conversely, people in power are less motivated to go beyond their stereotypes. Laboratory studies examine how a variety of relationships affect people forming impressions of others. Society’s cultural stereotypes and prejudice also depend on relationships of power and interdependence. Group status and competition affect how groups are (dis)liked and (dis)respected. Surveys examine the content of group stereotypes based on race, gender, age, (dis)ability, income, and more, finding patterns in the ways that society views various groups. Susan Fiske was previously Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an assistant through associate professor at Carnegie-Mellon University. She received an honorary doctorate from the Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, in 1995. Fiske is the author of more than 150 journal articles and book chapters; she has edited seven books and journal special issues. Her graduate text with Shelley Taylor, Social Cognition (1984; 2nd ed., 1991), defined the subfield of how people think about and make sense of other people. Her latest book, Social Beings: A Core Motives Approach to Social Psychology (Wiley, 2003), surveys the field from the perspective of socially adaptive motives for belonging, understanding, controlling, enhancing self, and trusting others. Fiske’s research has sparked opportunities for real-world impact. Her expert testimony in discrimination cases includes some cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1989 landmark case on gender bias. In 1998, she also testified before President Clinton’s Race Initiative Advisory Board, and in 2001–03, she coauthored a National Academy of Science report on methods for measuring discrimination. Fiske won the 1991 American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest, Early Career, in part for the expert testimony. She also won, with Peter Glick, the 1995 Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues for work on ambivalent sexism. She won, with Shelley Taylor, the 2003 Thomas Ostrom Award from the Person Memory Interest Group for work in social cognition. Fiske was elected president of the American Psychological Society for 2002–03. She was 1994 president of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and served on the executive committee of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology. As part of her effort to keep up with the field she loves, she edits, with Daniel Gilbert and Gardner Lindzey, the Handbook of Social Psychology (4th ed., 1998) and, with Daniel Schacter and Carolyn Zahn-Waxler, the Annual Review of Psychology (Vols. 51–60, 2000–09). She has served on the boards of Scientific Affairs for the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, Annual Reviews Inc., the Social Science Research Council, and the Common School in Amherst. For further information, call 845-758-7504 or e-mail # # # (2/27/06)

back to top

This event was last updated on 03-14-2006