Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Jamin Halberstadt

Jamin Halberstadt

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My primary interest is in the role of emotional responses in cognitive processing. We have previously found that stimuli in the world will sometimes be categorised (ie, grouped together and treated similarly) not because they are physically similar, but because they evoke the same emotional response in the perceiver. My current research explores the social consequences of emotional similarity. Under what circumstances do people consult their feelings to make decisions, and what sorts of decisions are they willing to make?

In addition to the effects of affect on categorization I also study thecomplementary issue: the effects of categorization on affect. Initial studies have shown that stimuli that are easily categorized (because they are highly prototypical of their categories) tend to be judged as attractive, a finding with important implications for explanations of attractiveness in human faces. I am now examining the roles of both subjective famliarity (whether a stimulus feels familiar) and objective familiarity (whether a stimulus has in fact been encountered before) in the averageness-atractiveness relationship, which interestingly appear to be different for natural versus artificial categories.

Another area of interest concerns the effects of introspection and verbalisation in social judgement. Previous research indicates that reasoning can actually impair performance in some domains. My research has been documenting these domains, which include behavioural predictions, decision making, memory for emotions and emotional expressions, and face recognition. and attempting to understand the mechanisms through which impairment occurs.

Primary Interests:

  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Evolution and Genetics
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Nonverbal Behavior
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Social Cognition

Journal Articles:

  • Halberstadt, J. B., Goldstone, R., & Levine, G. (2003). Featural processing in face preferences. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 270-278.
  • Halberstadt, J. B., & Levine, G. L. (1999). Effects of reasons analysis on the accuracy of predicting basketball games. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 29, 517-530.
  • Halberstadt, J. B., & Niedenthal, P. M. (2001). Effects of emotion concepts on perceptual memory for emotional expressions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(4), 587-598.
  • Halberstadt, J. B., & Rhodes, G. (2000). The attractiveness of non-face averages: Implications for an evolutionary explanation of the attractiveness of average faces. Psychological Science, 11, 289-293.
  • Niedenthal, P. M., Halberstadt, J. B., & Innes-Ker, A. H. (1999). Emotional response categorization. Psychological Review, 106, 337-361.

Courses Taught:

  • Social and Applied Psychology
  • Theory and Research in Social Cognition

Jamin Halberstadt
Department of Psychology
University of Otago
P.O. Box 56
New Zealand

  • Work: 64-3-479-8289
  • Mobile: 64-27-688-9899
  • Fax: 64-3-479-8335
  • Skype Name: jhalbers

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