I am an experimental psychologist studying implicit social cognition, that is, how we automatically like and dislike members of certain groups, how we automatically attribute positive and negative traits to them, and how such automatic likes and dislikes influence our behavior. I am currently working toward my PhD under the mentorship of Mahzarin R. Banaji at the Harvard Psychology Department. My work has been funded by the Dean's Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship, the Harvard Graduate School Fund, the Harvard Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative, as well as the Stimson Fund, the Restricted Funds, and the Knox Fund at the Harvard Psychology Department. I have published first-authored papers in outlets such as Behavior Research Methods, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Psychological Inquiry, and Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice. In addition, I have been teaching statistics to psychology students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I am a two-time recipient of the Derek Bok Center’s Harvard Distinction in Teaching Award.
My main line of work investigates how different kinds of learning (learning based on relationships that we experience in the environment vs. more abstract language-based learning) contribute to the formation of attitudes, especially relatively automatic and uncontrollable implicit attitudes, toward people and things (and, of course, places). I am also the lead author on a large-scale meta-analysis probing to what extent and under what conditions implicit attitudes and stereotypes predict behavior toward members of different social groups. Finally, in a third project, we are exploring the relationship between implicit attitudes (positive and negative evaluations of social groups) and implicit stereotypes (attributions of positive and negative traits to social groups). In past work, I created the Open Affective Standardized Image Set (OASIS) and showed that, under some conditions, the more confident we are, the less likely our memory is to be accurate.
Before becoming a psychologist, I earned my Bachelor’s degree in German Studies and Theoretical Linguistics from Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary. As an undergraduate, I participated in study abroad programs at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, and at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. I completed a Master of Arts degree in Political Science at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, with a specialization in research methodology. For my work at CEU, I received several academic distinctions, including the Departmental Award of Excellence, the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, and the Best MA Thesis Award.