People dedicate a great deal of conscious and unconscious thought to the groups they're in and the groups  they're not in. I study how such intergroup thought affects our behavior and attitudes -- with a particular focus on political judgment. For instance, I'm conducting research examining the extents to which White Americans' political attitudes and behavior are driven by ingroup-focused concerns (e.g., racial identity), outgroup-focused concerns (e.g., prejudice against non-Whites), or ostensibly group-neutral ideology (e.g., conservatism). I also have active interests in religious-group prejudice, interracial interaction, and the interplay of intergroup thinking and Theory of Mind.

Selected Publications

Unzueta, M. M., Knowles, E. D., & Ho, G. (2012). Diversity is what you want it to be: How social dominance motives affect diversity construals. Psychological Science, 23, 303-309.

Knowles, E. D., & Lowery, B. S. (2012). Meritocracy, self-concerns, and Whites’ denial of racial inequity. Self and Identity, 11, 202-222.

Li, Y. J, Johnson, K. A., Cohen, A. B., Williams, M. J., Knowles, E. D., & Chen, Z (2012). Fundamental(ist) attribution error: U.S. Protestants are dispositionally focused. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102, 281-290.

Lowery, B. S., Chow, R. M., Knowles, E. D., & Unzueta, M. M. (2012). Paying for positive group-esteem: How inequity frames affect Whites’ responses to redistributive policies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102, 323-336.

Knowles, E. D., & Ditto, P. H. (2012). Preference, principle, and political casuistry. In J. Hanson (Ed.), Ideology, psychology, and law (pp. 341-379). New York: Oxford University Press.

Knowles, E. D., Wearing, J., & Campos, B. (2011). Culture and the health benefits of expressive writing. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2, 408-415

Nelson, K. J., Laney, C., Fowler, N. B., Knowles, E. D., & Loftus, E. F. (2011). Change blindness can cause mistaken eyewitness identification. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 16, 62-74.

Knowles, E. D., & Marshburn C. K. (2010). Understanding White identity politics will be crucial to diversity science. Psychological Inquiry, 21, 134-139.

Knowles, E. D., Lowery, B. S., & Schaumberg, R. L. (2009). Racial prejudice predicts opposition to Obama and his health care reform plan. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 420-423. [Stanford Graduate School of Business’s most read article of 2009]

Knowles, E. D., Lowery, B. S., & Schaumberg, R. L. (2009). Anti-egalitarians for Obama? Group-dominance motivation and the Obama vote. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 965-969.

Knowles, E. D., Lowery, B. S., Chow, R. M., & Hogan, C. M. (2009). On the malleability of ideology: Motivated construals of color blindness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 857-869.

Chow, R. M., Lowery, B. S., & Knowles, E. D. (2008). The two faces of dominance: The differential effect of ingroup superiority and outgroup inferiority on dominant-group identity and group-esteem. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 1073-1081.

Park, S., Glaser, J., & Knowles, E. D. (2008). Implicit Motivation to Control Prejudice moderates the effect of cognitive depletion on unintended discrimination. Social Cognition, 26, 401-419.

Unzueta, M. M., Lowery, B. S., & Knowles, E. D. (2008). How believing in affirmative action quotas protects Whites men’s self-esteem. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 105, 1-13.

Glaser, J., & Knowles, E. D. (2008). Implicit Motivation to Control Prejudice. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 164-172.

Lowery, B. S., & Knowles, E. D., & Unzueta, M. M. (2007). Framing inequality safely: Whites’ motivated perceptions of racial privilege. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 1237-1250.

Lowery, B. S., Unzueta, M. M., Knowles, E. D., & Goff, P. A (2006). Concern for the ingroup and opposition to affirmative action, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 961-974

Knowles, E. D., & Peng, K. (2005). White selves: Conceptualizing and measuring a dominant-group identity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 223-241.

Peng, K., & Knowles, E. D. (2003). Culture, education, and the attribution of physical causality. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1272-1284.

Knowles, E. D., Morris, M. W., Chiu, C.-y., & Hong, Y.-y. (2001). Culture and the process of person perception: Evidence for automaticity among East Asians in correcting for situational influences on behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 1344-1356.

Peng, K., Ames, D. R., & Knowles, E. D. (2001). Culture and human inference: Perspectives from three traditions. In D. Matsumoto (Ed.), Handbook of culture and psychology (pp. 245-264). New York: Oxford University Press.

Ames, D. R., Knowles, E. D., Rosati, A. D., Kalish, C., Morris, M. W., & Gopnik, A. (2001). The social folk theorist: Insights from social and cultural psychology on the contents and contexts of folk theorizing. In B. F. Malle, L. J. Moses, & D. A. Baldwin (Eds.), Intentions and intentionality: Foundations of social cognition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Rosati, A. D., Knowles, E. D., Ames, D. R., Kalish, C., Morris, M. W., & Gopnik, A. (2001). The rocky road from acts to dispositions: Insights for attribution theory from developmental research on theories of mind. In B. F. Malle, L. J. Moses, & D. A. Baldwin (Eds.), Intentions and intentionality: Foundations of social cognition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Morris, M. W., Ames, D. R., & Knowles, E. D. (2001). What we theorize when we theorize that we theorize: Examining the ‘implicit theory’ construct from a cross-disciplinary perspective. In G. D. Moscowitz (Ed.), Cognitive social psychology: The Princeton symposium on the legacy and future of social cognition. Malwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Morris, M. W., Ames, D. R., & Knowles, E. D. (1999). Attribution theory. In R. A. Wilson & F. C. Keil (Eds.), MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Eric D. Knowles
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
New York University
6 Washington Pl., Rm. 579
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212)-998-7816

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