In my research I focus on what people do in intergroup interactions and how those behaviors are related to people’s biased thoughts and feelings about other groups. More specifically, my research examines how individuals’ stereotypes and prejudice affect actual behavior in interactions – both the verbal and nonverbal behaviors of the person holding these biases, as well as the behavior and performance of the targets of these biases.
Much of my work examines these issues in the context of gender stereotypes and interactions, particularly in leadership domains. This research has applied implications for diversity in organizations.
Two key concepts transcend my research on these topics
- Implicit / Nonconscious Processes. I investigate implicit stereotypes of women’s competence in the workplace (Latu et al., 2011; Psychology of Women Quarterly), whether these implicit stereotypes can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies, such that they predict the behavior of women who are the targets of this bias (Latu, Schmid Mast, & Stewart, under review), and how implicit gender stereotypes are leaked through nonverbal behavior (Latu & Schmid Mast, in progress). My research also explores how nonconscious mimicry can account for the inspiring effects of female role models on women’s performance in leadership tasks (Latu, Schmid Mast, Bombari, & Lammers, in prep). I also examined how implicit racial biases can be reduced through training in automatizing situational attributions (Latu, 2010; Doctoral Dissertation; Stewart, Latu, Kawakami, & Myers, 2010; Journal of Experimental Social Psychology).
- Empowerment and Power. I investigate empowerment – how to reduce the effects of negative gender stereotypes by empowering women’s behavior through exposures to successful role models (Latu, Schmid Mast, Lammers, & Bombari, 2013; Journal of Experimental Social Psychology). Another focus of my research is social power and its effect on emotional and cognitive outcomes, such as interpersonal perception (Hall, Schmid Mast, & Latu, under review; Hall, Latu, Carney, & Schmid Mast, in press; The Psychology of Social Status), the expression of anger, and attributions (Latu, in progress).