Erin Cooley

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Erin Cooley

Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • 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

My research examines the cognitive, affective, and physiological processes that result from, and contribute to, stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. I am particularly focused on understanding implicit biases, prejudice at the intersection of identities (e.g., race, gender, class), and the psychological and physiological effects of shifting U.S. racial demographics and rising economic inequality.

*Indicates student author
**Indicates both authors contributed equally

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.

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 Science

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 Psychology


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.


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.

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.

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.

Cooley, E., ** Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., ** Lei, R., Cipolli, W., & Philbrook, L. (revision invited). The policy implications of feeling unprivileged in a privileged group. Target Journal: Group Processes and Intergroup Relations.

Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., ** Cooley, E., ** Lei, R., Philbrook, L., Cipolli, W., McKee, S. E., & Marshburn, C. (under review). For Black Americans, racial inequality may alter links between subjective socioeconomic status, emotions, and health. Target Journal: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., Cooley, E., Marshburn, C., McKee, S., & Lei, R. (revised and resubmitted). Investigating the interplay between race, work ethic stereotypes, and attitudes toward welfare recipients and policies. Target Journal: Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Vuletich, H., Kurtz-Costes, B., Cooley, E., & Payne, B. K. (revised and resubmitted). Math and language gender stereotypes: Age and gender differences in implicit attitudes and explicit beliefs. Target Journal: PloS One.

Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., ** Cooley, E., ** Lei, R., & Cipolli, W. (under review). Racialized work ethic beliefs and support for social security. Target Journal: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Cooley, E., ** Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., ** Lei, R., & Cipolli, W. (in preparation). Beliefs about White poverty, rather than Black poverty, predict differences in White and Black Americans' welfare policy support. Target Journal: Psychological Science.

Cooley, E., Perry, S., Rogbeer. K.,* & In, C.* (in preparation). The effect of the framing of implicit bias and participant race on expected experiences and outcomes of implicit bias trainings. Target Journal: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Cooley, E., Brown-Iannuzzi, J., Wu, S.,* McKee, S. E., Ntakarutimana, C., & Agboh, D. (in preparation). The intra-group complexities of contact: Cross-race friendships can lead to evaluations of being inauthentic among one’s own racial group. Target General: Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Cooley, E., Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., Lei, R., Powell, M., * & Munro, K.* (under review). Flexible racial identification among biracial people can lead to stereotypes of being disingenuous and strategic. Target Journal: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

“Character and Context” blog post for Society for Personality and Social Psychology (June 10, 2019). “Who is to blame when police officers shoot Black men?”

OpEd for Vice (May 7, 2019). “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.”

The Academic Minute: A WMAC National Production (August 31, 2017). “Groups and sympathy”