Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Nilanjana Dasgupta

Nilanjana Dasgupta

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  • SPN Mentor

My research focuses on prejudice, stereotyping, and the self-concept, with special emphasis on ways in which societal expectations and stereotypes implicitly shape individuals’ attitudes and behavior toward others and, in some cases, influence their own self-concept, professional and personal life decisions. I have examined these issues in relation to race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, and nationality. I am particularly interested in understanding what factors attenuate implicit bias (e.g., by changing the structure of local environments) and what other factors exacerbate implicit bias (e.g., by evoking specific negative emotions). One recent strand of my research has begun to identify social psychological factors that protect and inoculate individuals' implicit self-concept against negative ingroup stereotypes in high achievement contexts so that they persist and pursue success in these domains. My research has been supported by the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award; I’m also funded by other grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health

Professional Service

I have served in various professional capacities at the national and international level. I am currently an elected member of the executive council (2012-14) of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). In the past I served as Chair of SPSSI's Dissertation Award Committee for 3 years (2005-07) and a member of the Gordon Allport Prize Committee (2011). In the Society of Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), I served as Chair of the Diversity and Climate Committee for 3 years (2008-2010) and as a Committee Member for 2 prior years (2006-08). In terms of research-oriented service, I was Associate Editor of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin for 2 years (2008-10) and currently serve on the Consulting Editorial Board of several journals including Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, European Review of Social Psychology, Social Psychological and Personality Science, and Social Cognition. I’ve served on a scientific review panel at the National Science Foundation and evaluated many grant proposals as an ad hoc reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the American Psychological Foundation.

Research dissemination, application, and translation

Some of my most rewarding dissemination experiences are ones where I’ve been able to translate scientific research to shed light on social problems such as employment discrimination, educational disparities in science, engineering, and mathematics, and the under-representation of women and ethnic minorities in professional leadership roles, to give a few examples. Many of my professional activities involve collaborating with practitioners and disseminating research findings to interdisciplinary audiences including lawyers, judges, legal consultants, law professors, law enforcement officers, K-12 teachers, school principals and superintendents, university faculty, department chairs, deans, and other administrators. For example, I have served as a consultant to the Southern Poverty Law Center to help develop an intervention focusing on reducing subtle bias in K-12 teachers. I’ve presented research on how implicit bias affects girls and women in science and engineering at an international conference of engineers, at another meeting of the Association of Women in Science, and to several local groups of science faculty and graduate students at UMass. I have presented my research at several interdisciplinary legal conferences hosted by the Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings College of Law, and by the UCLA Law School. I have contributed to a documentary program that seeks to educate California State judges and court employees on the origins, manifestations, and potential solutions to bias in the courtroom. This show airs on a state court TV channel and reaches over 20,000 viewers. As a final example, I participated in a Science Leadership Advocacy Conference on Capitol Hill in Washington DC during which my fellow scientists and I spoke directly to our senators, state representatives, and their staff about the importance of federal funding for science (NIH and NSF) and protecting the peer review process.

Primary Interests:

  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

Journal Articles:

  • Asgari, S., Dasgupta, N., & Stout, J. G. (2012). When do counterstereotypic ingroup members inspire vs. deflate? The effect of successful professional women on women’s leadership self-concept. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 370-383.
  • Dasgupta, N. (2011). Ingroup experts and peers as social vaccines who inoculate the self-concept: The Stereotype Inoculation Model. Psychological Inquiry, 22, 231-246.
  • Dasgupta, N. (2004). Implicit ingroup favoritism, outgroup favoritism, and their behavioral manifestations. Social Justice Research, 17, 143-169.
  • Dasgupta, N., & Asgari, S. (2004). Seeing is believing: Exposure to counterstereotypic women leaders and its effect on automatic gender stereotyping. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40, 642-658.
  • Dasgupta, N., Banaji, M. R., & Abelson, R. P. (1999). Group entitativity and group perception: Associations between physical features and psychological judgment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 991-1003.
  • Dasgupta, N., DeSteno, D. A., Williams, L., & Hunsinger, M. (2009). Fanning the flames of prejudice: The influence of specific incidental emotions on implicit prejudice. Emotion, 9, 585-591.
  • Dasgupta, N., & Greenwald, A. G. (2001). On the malleability of automatic attitudes: Combating automatic prejudice with images of admired and disliked individuals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 800-814.
  • Dasgupta, N., Greenwald, A. G., & Banaji, M. R. (2003). The first ontological challenge to the IAT: Attitude or mere familiarity? Psychological Inquiry, 14, 238-243.
  • Dasgupta, N., McGhee, D. E., Greenwald, A. G., & Banaji, M. R. (2000). Automatic preference for White Americans: Eliminating the familiarity explanation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 36, 316-328.
  • Dasgupta, N., & Rivera, L. M. (2006). From automatic anti-gay prejudice to behavior: The moderating role of conscious beliefs about gender and behavioral control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 268-280.
  • Dasgupta, N., & Stout , J. G. (in press). Contemporary discrimination in the lab and real world: Benefits and obstacles of full-cycle social psychology. Journal of Social Issues.
  • DeSteno, D. A., Dasgupta, N., Bartlett, M. Y., & Cajdric, A. (2004). Prejudice from thin air: The effect of emotion on automatic intergroup attitudes. Psychological Science, 15, 319-324.
  • Eberhardt, J. L., Dasgupta, N., & Banaszynski, T. (2003). Believing is seeing: The effects of racial labels and implicit beliefs on face perception. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 360-370.
  • Kang, J., Dasgupta, N., Yogeeswaran, K., & Blasi, G. (2010). Are ideal litigators White? Measuring the myth of colorblindness. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 7, 886-915.
  • Stout, J. G. & Dasgupta, N. (2011). When he doesn’t mean you: Gender-exclusive language as ostracism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 757-769.
  • Stout, J. G., Dasgupta, N., Hunsinger, M., & McManus, M. A. (2011). STEMing the tide: Using ingroup experts to inoculate women’s self-concept in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 255-270.
  • Uhlmann, E., Dasgupta, N., Greenwald, A. G., Elgueta, A., & Swanson, J. (2002). Skin color based subgroup prejudice among Hispanics in the United States and Latin America. Social Cognition, 20, 197-224.
  • Yogeeswaran, K., Dasgupta, N., Adelman, L., Eccleston, A., & Parker, M. (2011). To be or not to be (ethnic): The hidden cost of ethnic identification for Americans of European and Non-European origin. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 908-914.
  • Yogeeswaran, K., Dasgupta, N., & Gomez, C. (in press). A new American Dilemma? The effect of ethnic identification and public service on the national inclusion of ethnic groups. European Journal of Social Psychology.

Other Publications:

  • Dasgupta, N., & Yogeeswaran, K. (2010). Obama-Nation? Implicit beliefs about American nationality and the possibility of redefining who counts as "truly" American. In G. S. Parks & M. W. Hughey (Eds.), The Obamas and a (Post)-Racial America? New York: Oxford University Press.

Courses Taught:

Nilanjana Dasgupta
Department of Psychology
University of Massachusetts
Tobin Hall, 135 Hicks Way
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003
United States

  • Phone: (413) 545-0049
  • Fax: (413) 545-0996

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