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Benedek Kurdi

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University of Illinois

Benedek Kurdi

Department of Psychology

As an experimental psychologist, my research seeks to understand the immense power and the surprising limitations of our minds in adaptively responding to new information given a lifetime of learning. I examine learning in the context of basic social processes. Specifically, I study the ordinary decisions we make every day that are critical to our well-being and even survival: our evaluations of and beliefs about other people. In doing so, I rely on a combination of traditional online and laboratory experiments as well as computational approaches, while drawing on a variety of learning paradigms, including reinforcement learning, evaluative conditioning, propositional learning, and causal learning. These methods help me uncover the basic mechanisms involved in how we acquire and update our impressions of individuals, especially against the backdrop of information about their social group memberships, such as gender, sexual orientation, age, race, and ethnicity.
I am currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign. I obtained my PhD in 2019 at the Harvard Psychology Department under the mentorship of Mahzarin Banaji, Fiery Cushman, and Sam Gershman and completed my postdoctoral training at the Cornell Department of Psychology and the Yale Department of Psychology with Melissa Ferguson and, at Cornell, with Amy Krosch. My research has been funded by the Dean's Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship, the Harvard Graduate School Fund, the Harvard Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative, the Stimson, Restricted, and Knox Funds at the Harvard Psychology Department, and the Cornell Center for Social Sciences. My work has been published in American Psychologist, Cognition, Journal of Experimental Psychology: GeneralJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, Nature Reviews PsychologyPerspectives on Psychological ScienceProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Psychological Science, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, and numerous other outlets.

I am a member of Project Implicit’s Scientific Advisory Board and the editorial boards of Journal of Personality and Social PsychologyPersonality and Social Psychology ReviewSocial Cognition, and Social Psychological and Personality Science. I am also currently serving as an Editorial Fellow at the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. I have extensive teaching experience in social cognition, statistics, and social psychology at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science and received the SAGE Early-Career Trajectory Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the International Social Cognition Network’s Early Career Award. Additionally, I am a three-time recipient of the Derek Bok Center’s Harvard Distinction in Teaching Award and was included on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent By Their Students at the University of Illinois.

picture about Benedek Kurdi

Benedek Kurdi

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
University of Illinois


What do I do?

Taking a multi-tier approach to implicit cognition


The articles are provided to ensure the timely dissemination of scientific information.
In order to download an article, click the PDF button, and in order to obtain raw data files and analysis scripts, click the OSF button.
  • Hudson, S. T. J.*, Kurdi, B.*, Lai, C. K., Johnson, J., & Banaji, M. R. (2024). Implicit attitudes evoked by a singular American slur: Five experiments on n***r and n***a in samples of Black and White Americans. Social Cognition, 42(3), 161–197. PDF OSF
  • Morehouse, K. N., Kurdi, B., & Nosek, B. A. (2024). Responsible data sharing: Identifying and remedying possible re-identification of human participants. American Psychologist. Advance online publication. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., Melnikoff, D. E., Hannay, J. W., Korkmaz, A., Lee, K. M., Ritchie, E., Surdel, N., Vuletich, H. A., Yang, X., Payne, B. K., & Ferguson, M. J. (2024). Testing the automaticity features of the Affect Misattribution Procedure: The roles of awareness and intentionality. Behavior Research Methods, 56(4), 3161–3194. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., & Mandelbaum, E. (2023). The case against implicit bias fatalism. Nature Reviews Psychology, 2(11), 656–657. PDF
  • Kurdi, B., Sanchez, A., Dasgupta, N., & Banaji, M. R. (2023). (When) do counterattitudinal exemplars shift implicit racial evaluations? Replications and extensions of Dasgupta and Greenwald (2001). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 126(4), 543–565. PDF OSF
  • Morris, A.*, & Kurdi, B.* (2023). Awareness of implicit attitudes: Large-scale investigations of mechanism and scope. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 152(12), 3311–3343. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., Krosch, A. R., & Ferguson, M. J. (2023). Oppressed groups engender implicit positivity: Seven demonstrations using novel and familiar targets. Psychological Science, 34(10), 1069–1086. PDF OSF
  • Simonovits, B., Kurdi, B., & Simonovits, G. (2023). Disabled and Romani passengers face similar levels of discrimination but different levels of open hostility in the sharing economy. Scientific Reports, 13, 10605. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., & Charlesworth, T. E. S. (2023). A 3D framework of implicit attitude change. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 27(8), 745–758. PDF
  • Kurdi, B., Morehouse, K. N., & Dunham, Y. (2023). How do explicit and implicit evaluations shift? A preregistered meta-analysis of the effects of co-occurrence and relational information. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 124(6), 1174–1202. PDF OSF
  • Charlesworth, T. E. S.*, Navon, M.*, Rabinovich, Y., Lofaro, N., & Kurdi, B. (2023). The Project Implicit International Dataset: Measuring implicit and explicit social group attitudes and stereotypes across 34 countries (2009–2019). Behavior Research Methods, 55(3), 1413–1440. PDF OSF
  • Mandelbaum, E., Dunham, Y., Feiman, R., Firestone, C., Green, E. J., Harris, D., Kibbe, M. M., Kurdi, B., Mylopoulos, M., Shepherd, J., Wellwood, A., Porot, N., & Quilty‐Dunn, J. (2022). Problems and mysteries of the many languages of thought. Cognitive Science, 46(12). PDF
  • Melnikoff, D. E., & Kurdi, B. (2022). What implicit measures of bias can do. Psychological Inquiry, 33(3), 185–192. PDF
  • Kurdi, B., & Banaji, M. R. (2022). Implicit person memory: Domain-general and domain-specific processes of learning and change. In E. Balcetis & G. B. Moskowitz (Eds.), The handbook of impression formation: A social psychological approach (pp. 459–488). New York, NY: Routledge. PDF
  • Kurdi, B., & Banaji, M. R. (2022). Implicit social cognition: A brief (and gentle) introduction. In A. S. Reber & R. Allen (Eds.), The cognitive unconscious: The first half-century (pp. 323–346). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. PDF
  • Kurdi, B., & Dunham, Y. (2022). What can the implicit social cognition literature teach us about implicit social cognition? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 45, e80. PDF
  • Kurdi, B.*, Hussey, I.*, Stahl, C.*, Hughes, S., Unkelbach, C., Ferguson, M. J., & Corneille, O. (2022). Unaware attitude formation in the surveillance task? Revisiting the findings of Moran et al. (2021). International Review of Social Psychology, 35(1), 1–16. PDF OSF
  • Morehouse, K. N., Kurdi, B., Hakim, E., & Banaji, M. R. (2022). When a stereotype dumbfounds: Probing the nature of the surgeon = male belief. Current Research in Ecological and Social Psychology, 3, 100044. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., Morris, A., & Cushman, F. A. (2022). The role of causal structure in implicit evaluation. Cognition, 225, 105116. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., Mann, T. C., & Ferguson, M. J. (2022). Persuading the implicit mind: Changing negative implicit evaluations with an 8-minute podcast. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 13(3), 688–697. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., Carroll, T. J., & Banaji, M. R. (2021). Specificity and incremental predictive validity of implicit attitudes: Studies of a race-based phenotype. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 6, 61. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., & Dunham, Y. (2021). Sensitivity of implicit evaluations to accurate and erroneous propositional inferences. Cognition, 214, 104792. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., Ratliff, K. A., & Cunningham, W. A. (2021). Can the Implicit Association Test serve as a valid measure of automatic cognition? A response to Schimmack (2021). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 16(2), 422–434. PDF
  • Charlesworth, T. E. S., Yang, V., Mann, T. C., Kurdi, B., & Banaji, M. R. (2021). Gender stereotypes in natural language: Word embeddings show robust consistency across child and adult language corpora of more than 65 million words. Psychological Science, 32(2), 218–240. PDF OSF
  • Moran, T., Hughes, S., Hussey, I., Vadillo, M. A., Olson, M. A., ..., Kurdi, B., ..., & De Houwer, J. (2021). Incidental attitude formation via the surveillance task: A preregistered replication of the Olson and Fazio (2001) study. Psychological Science, 32(1), 120–131. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., & Dunham, Y. (2020). Propositional accounts of implicit evaluation: Taking stock and looking ahead. Social Cognition, 38(Supplement), s42–s67. PDF
  • Kurdi, B., Krosch, A. R., & Ferguson, M. J. (2020). Implicit evaluations of moral agents reflect intent and outcome. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 90, 103990. PDF OSF
  • Charlesworth, T. E. S., Kurdi, B., & Banaji, M. R. (2020). Children’s implicit attitude acquisition: Evaluative statements succeed, repeated pairings fail. Developmental Science, 23(3), e12911. PDF OSF
  • Mann, T. C., Kurdi, B., & Banaji, M. R. (2020). How effectively can implicit evaluations be updated? Using evaluative statements after aversive repeated evaluative pairings. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 149(6), 1169–1192. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., Gershman, S. J., & Banaji, M. R. (2019). Model-free and model-based learning processes in the updating of explicit and implicit evaluations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(13), 6035–6044. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., Mann, T. C., Charlesworth, T. E. S., & Banaji, M. R. (2019). The relationship between implicit intergroup attitudes and beliefs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(13), 5862–5871. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., & Banaji, M. R. (2019). Attitude change via repeated evaluative pairings versus evaluative statements: Shared and unique features. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 116(5), 681–703. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B.*, Seitchik, A. E.*, Axt, J. R., Carroll, T. J., Karapetyan, A., Kaushik, N., Tomezsko, D., Greenwald, A. G., & Banaji, M. R. (2019). Relationship between the Implicit Association Test and intergroup behavior: A meta-analysis. American Psychologist, 74(5), 569–586. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., Diaz, A. J., Wilmuth, C. A., Friedman, M. C., & Banaji, M. R. (2018). Variations in the relationship between memory confidence and memory accuracy: The effects of spontaneous accessibility, list length, modality, and complexity. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 5(1), 3–28. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., & Banaji, M. R. (2017). Reports of the death of the individual difference approach to implicit social cognition may be greatly exaggerated: A commentary on Payne, Vuletich, and Lundberg. Psychological Inquiry, 28(4), 281–287. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., & Banaji, M. R. (2017). Repeated evaluative pairings and evaluative statements: How effectively do they shift implicit attitudes? Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146(2), 194–213. PDF OSF
  • Kurdi, B., Lozano, S., & Banaji, M. R. (2017). Introducing the Open Affective Standardized Image Set (OASIS). Behavior Research Methods, 49(2), 457–470. PDF OSF


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Benedek Kurdi
University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
Department of Psychology
603 E Daniel St
Champaign, IL 61820

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