Erin Cooley

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Erin Cooley

Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Department/Office Information

Psychological and Brain Sciences
  • T 1:45pm - 3:30pm (111C Olin Hall)
  • R 11:45am - 1:00pm (111C Olin Hall)
  • B.S. in Psychology, University of Florida, 2009
  • B.A. in Spanish, University of Florida, 2009
  • M.A. in Social Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011
  • Ph.D. in Social Psychology with a Formal Concentration in Quantitative Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2015

Aron, A., Coups, E. L., Aron, E. N., & Cooley, E. (forthcoming). Statistics for Psychology. (7th ed.). Pearson.

Hierarchy, Policy & Health Lab

Research from our lab explores how the persistence of hierarchies in the United States (i.e., racism, classism, sexism and their intersections) influence people's policy attitudes, as well as their mental and physical health. For example, we have found that high economic inequality leads many Americans, even those with objectively high income and education, to feel as if they are falling behind. And, these feelings of falling behind have important implications for predicting their policy attitudes (e.g., welfare support, beliefs about police use of force, etc.) as well as their own mental (i.e., depression) and physical health (i.e., sleep quality and heart health). We also explore how interventions that teach people about hierarchy and power, such as lessons about white privilege and implicit bias trainings, interact with these processes--at times, in unanticipated ways.

Together our lab is focused on understanding how shifting U.S. racial demographics and growing U.S. levels of economic inequality intertwine with salient societal issues such as racism, classism, and growing political polarization. By understanding these processes, we hope to identify evidence-based practices that will improve people's quality of life.

*Indicates student author
**Indicates both authors contributed equally

Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., Cooley, E., Cipolli, W., & Payne, B.K. (2021). Who gets to vote? Racialized mental images of legitimate and illegitimate voters. Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Cooley, E., ** Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., ** Lei, R., Cipolli, W., & Philbrook, L. (2021). The policy implications of feeling low versus high status within a privileged group. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0001051

Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., Cooley, E., Cipolli, W., & Mehta, S. (2021). Race, ambivalent sexism, and perceptions of situations when police shoot Black women. Social Psychological and Personality Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550620987659

Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., Cooley, E., Marshburn, C., McKee, S., & Lei, R. (2021). Investigating the interplay between race, work ethic stereotypes, and attitudes toward welfare recipients and policies. Social Psychological and Personality Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550620983051

Vuletich, H., Kurtz-Costes, B., Cooley, E., & Payne, B. K. (2020). Math and language gender stereotypes: Age and gender differences in implicit attitudes and explicit beliefs. Plos one15(9), e0238230.

Cooley, E., ** Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., ** Lei, R., Philbrook, L., Cipolli, W., & McKee, S. E. (2020). Investigating the health consequences for white Americans who believe white Americans are wealthy. Social Psychological and Personality Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550620905219

Cooley, E., ** Hester, N., ** Cipolli, W., Rivera, L., Abrams, K., * Pagan, J., Sommers, S., & Payne, B. K. (2019). Racial biases in officers’ decisions to frisk are amplified for Black people stopped among groups leading to similar biases in searches, arrests, and use of force. Social Psychological and Personality Sciencehttps://doi.org/10.1177/1948550619876638

Cooley, E., Brown-Iannuzzi, J., Cottrell, D.* (2019). Liberals perceive more racism than conservatives when police shoot Black men—But, reading about White privilege increases perceived racism, and shifts attributions of guilt, regardless of political ideology. Journal of Experimental Social Psychologyhttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002210311930352X

 

Cooley, E., Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., Lei, R. F., & Cipolli, W. III. (2019). Complex intersections of race and class: Among social liberals, learning about White privilege reduces sympathy, increases blame, and decreases external attributions for White people struggling with poverty. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000605

 

Cooley, E., ** Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., ** & Boudreau, C.* (2019). Shifting stereotypes of welfare recipients can reverse racial biases in support for wealth redistribution. Social Psychological and Personality Science.https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550619829062

Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., Cooley, E., McKee, S. E., & Hyden, C. (2019). Wealthy Whites and poor Blacks: Implicit associations between racial groups and wealth predict explicit opposition toward helping the poor. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology82, 26-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2018.11.006

Cooley, E., Lei, R., Brown-Iannuzzi, J., & Ellerkamp, T.* (2019). Personal prejudice, other guilt: Explicit prejudice toward Black people predicts guilty verdicts for White officers who kill Black men. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin45(5), 754–766. 

Cooley, E., Lei, R. F., & Ellerkamp, T.* (2018). The mixed outcomes of taking ownership for implicit racial biases. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin44(10), 1424-1434.

Cooley, E., & Payne, B. K. (2018). A group is more than the average of its parts: Why existing stereotypes are applied more to the same individuals when viewed in groups than when viewed alone. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 1368430218756494.

Cooley, E., Winslow, H.,* Vojt, A.,* Shein, J.,* & Ho, J.* (2018). Bias at the intersection of identity: Conflicting social stereotypes of gender and race augment the perceived femininity and interpersonal warmth of smiling Black women. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology74, 43-49.

Cooley, E., Brown-Iannuzzi, J., Agboh, D., Enjaian, B.,* Geyer, R.,* Lue, N.,* & Wu, S.* (2018). The fluid perception of racial identity: The role of friendship groups. Social Psychological and Personality Science9(1), 32-39. doi: 10.1177/1948550617703171

Cooley, E., Brown-Iannuzzi, J, Brown, C.S., & Polikoff, J.* (2018). Black groups accentuate hypodescent by activating threats to the racial hierarchySocial Psychological and Personality Science. doi: 10.1177/1948550617708014

Cooley, E., Payne, B.K., Cipolli, W., Cameron, D, Berger, A.,* & Gray, K. (2017). The paradox of group mind: "people in a group" have more mind than "a group of people."Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146(5), 691.

Cooley, E., & Payne, B. K. (2017). Using groups to measure intergroup prejudice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin43(1), 46-59. doi:10.1177/0146167216675331.

Brown-Iannuzzi, J., Dotsch, R., Cooley, E., & Payne, B. K. (2016). The relationship between mental representations of welfare recipients and attitudes toward welfare. Psychological Science, 28(1), 1-12. doi: 10.1177/0956797616674999.

Lai, C. K., Skinner, A. L., Cooley, E., Murrar, S., Brauer, M., Devos, T., Calanchini, J., Xiao, Y. J.,  Pedram, C., Marshburn, C. K., Simon, S., Blanchar, J. C., Joy-Gaba, J. A., Conway, J., Redford, L., Klein, R. A., Roussos, G., Schellhaas, F. M. H., Burns, M., Hu, X., McLean, M. C., Axt, J. R., Asgari, S., Schmidt, K., Rubinstein., R, Marini, M., Rubichi, S., Shin,. J. L., & Nosek, B. A. (2016). Reducing implicit racial preferences: II. Intervention effectiveness across time. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 8, 1001-1016.

Cooley, E., Payne, B.K., Loersch, C., & Lei, R. (2015). Who owns implicit attitudes? Testing a meta-cognitive perspective. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin41(1), 103-115.

Cooley, E., Payne, B.K., & Phillips, J. K.* (2014). Implicit bias and the illusion of conscious ill will. Social Psychological and Personality Science5, 500-507.

Cooley, E., Rea, A. J., Insko, C. A., & Payne, B. K. (2013). Perceived relevance of honesty and agreeableness to situations with non-correspondent and correspondent outcomes: an interdependence perspective. European Journal of Social Psychology, 43, 593-599.

Payne, B.K., Brown-Iannuzzi, J., Burkley, M., Arbuckle, N., Cooley, E., Cameron, C.D., & Lundberg, K.B. (2013). Intention invention and the affect misattribution procedure: Reply to Bar-Anan and Nosek (2012). Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 375-386.

Galvan, M., Alvarez, G. M., Cipolli, W., Cooley, E., Muscatell, K. A., Payne, B.K. (under review). Is discrimination widespread or concentrated? Evaluating the distribution of hiring and housing discrimination against Black Americans. Target Journal: American Psychologist.

Cooley, E., ** Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., ** Lei, R., Cipolli, W., & Philbrook, L. (revised and resubmitted). Beliefs that White = poor, above and beyond beliefs that Black = poor, predict White (but not Black) Americans’ attitudes toward welfare recipients and policy. Target Journal: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Cooley, E., Perry, S., & Rogbeer. K.* (revised and resubmitted). The consequences of framing implicit bias as distinct from bigotry and racism. Target Journal: Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., ** Cooley, E., ** Cipolli, W., & Lei, R. (in preparation). Racialized work ethic beliefs and support for social security. 

Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., ** Cooley, E., ** Lei, R., Philbrook, L., Klein, E.,* Cipolli, W. (in preparation). Living up to Whiteness: Within-group status comparisons predict worse health over time among White but not Black Americans. Target Journal: Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Character and Context blog post for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (June 10, 2021). “Are all women perceived as equally deserving of protection from police violence?” https://spsp.org/news-center/blog/brown-iannuzzi-cooley-mehta-race-police-violence-women

UC Berkeley’s Interdisciplinary Institute of Personality and Social Research. Talk given virtually (April 14, 2021). "Living up to Whiteness: Why group-based privilege leaves many White Americans, ironically, feeling unprivileged." https://ipsr.berkeley.edu/resources/video-library

Character and Context blog post for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (October 31, 2020). “When safety in numbers becomes racism in numbers” http://spsp.org/news-center/blog/cooley-white-black-groups

Invited Symposium and Panel Member for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology 2019 Annual Meeting. "Implicit Bias Training and Beyond: A critical examination and discussion of implicit bias training" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvD3zRMC4qI

Character and Context blog post for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (June 10, 2019). “Who is to blame when police officers shoot Black men?” http://www.spsp.org/news-center/blog/cooley-brown-iannuzzi-lei-shoot-black-men?fbclid=IwAR22lvB7dC53ddPyEsQ5uKZrVCA8worbCjt-zWhJJp4NXNIyp2tWR3-mmmI

OpEd for Vice (May 7, 2019). “The disturbing thing I learned studying white privilege and liberals.” https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/neazxq/the-disturbing-thing-i-learned-studying-white-privilege-and-liberals

Character and Context blog post for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (April 15, 2019). “Beliefs that Black people are poor predict opposition toward welfare.” http://www.spsp.org/news-center/blog/brown-cooley-race

The Academic Minute: A WMAC National Production (August 31, 2017). “Groups and sympathy” https://academicminute.org/2017/08/erin-cooley-colgate-university-groups-and-sympathy/

PsyPost (July, 2021). “White, but not Black, women benefit from benevolently sexist beliefs during violent interactions with police”  https://www.psypost.org/2021/07/white-but-not-black-women-benefit-from-benevolently-sexist-beliefs-during-violent-interactions-with-police-61375

The Conversation (August 6, 2020). “Why diversity training on campus is likely to disappoint” https://theconversation.com/why-diversity-training-on-campus-is-likely-to-disappoint-143644

Voice of America (June 17, 2020). “What is ‘white privilege’ and whom does it help? https://www.voanews.com/usa/race-america/what-white-privilege-and-whom-does-it-help

PsyPost (June 6, 2020). “White privilege lessons alter perceptions of racism when a Black man is shot by police.” https://www.psypost.org/2020/06/white-privilege-lessons-alter-perceptions-of-racism-when-a-black-man-is-shot-by-police-57036

Pacific Standard (May 30, 2019). “Talking about white privilege can reduce liberals’ sympathy for poor white people.” https://psmag.com/news/talking-about-white-privilege-can-reduce-liberal-sympathy-for-poor-white-people

Reason Magazine (May 29, 2019). “Liberals who learned about white privilege became less sympathetic to poor whites.” https://reason.com/2019/05/29/white-privilege-study-sympathetic-black-people/

Quillette (May 23, 2019). “What does teaching about white privilege actually accomplish (not what you might think or hope).” https://quillette.com/2019/05/23/what-does-teaching-white-privilege-actually-accomplish-not-what-you-might-think-or-hope/

The Greater Good Science Center (May 20th, 2019). “What happens when you educate liberals about White privilege.” https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_happens_when_you_educate_liberals_about_white_privilege

Big Think (May 12, 2019). “Study: Teaching liberals about white privilege reveals ‘startling’ blind spot.” https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/liberal-bias-white-privilege

The Tobin Project Scholar Network Newsletter (April 18, 2019). “Wealthy Whites and poor Blacks: Implicit associations between racial groups and wealth predict explicit opposition toward helping the poor.” https://mailchi.mp/tobinproject/tobin-scholar-newsletter-the-impact-of-inequality-on-dna-how-associations-between-race-and-class-shape-support-for-wealth-redistribution-and-more?e=cbdb1fc634

Colgate University News (December 6, 2017). “Stephanie Wu ’18 brings a personal view to research on race and prejudice.” http://news.colgate.edu/2017/12/stephanie-wu-18-brings-personal-view-to-research-on-race-and-prejudice.html/

The Scene, Colgate University (July 20, 2017). “Professor Cooley’s research has implications for moral decision-making involving groups.” http://news.colgate.edu/2017/07/professor-cooleys-research-has-implications-for-moral-decision-making-involving-groups.html/

Vox (April, 11, 2017). “This one small language tweak could change our view of refugees.” http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/4/11/15220754/increase-empathy-strangers