Juliana Schroeder, Professor

Open (1) Psychology of Trust and Technology

Open. Apprentices needed for the spring semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before February 5th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning January 9th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, January 23rd at 8 AM.

Technology is changing almost every aspect of human life, but as technology advances so too does the cost of trusting technology. Whereas mistakenly trusting a dishwasher can result in dishes shattered, mistakenly trusting a self-driving car can result in lives lost. In the modern age, individuals are more frequently interacting with machines from ATMs to SIRI and also more frequently interacting with unknown humans via online platforms. Both decisions can have enormous consequences. Mistakenly trusting a new business partner in a negotiation could result in millions of dollars lost; mistakenly trusting a phone application with sensitive personal information could result in identity loss. Despite the critical consequences and prevalence of these decisions to trust machines and humans, very little is known about the psychology behind them.

By applying social psychological processes to insights in human-robot interaction and behavioral economics, my research seeks to both understand and predict when people will trust other humans and machines.

If you join this project, you will have the opportunity to explore the psychology of trust and technology in several domains. We will match you to the study that best fits your interest.

You will gain experience in nearly all aspects of the research process, including theoretical/literature review, laboratory protocol design, data collection, and questionnaire quality control.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Brianna Bottle, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: We seek research apprentices who are interested in human thinking and decision making and are motivated, conscientious, and eager to learn. Coursework on research design and basic statistics is a plus. We are especially interested in students who are considering applying to graduate school to do research in Psychology or any field related to Psychology! Please check my website for full information about my research.

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Related website: http://www.julianaschroeder.com

Open (2) Communicating and Connecting with Others

Open. Apprentices needed for the spring semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before February 5th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning January 9th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, January 23rd at 8 AM.

Technology is rapidly changing, giving humans more options than ever to decide how to communicate with each other. Whereas online options to engage with others are expanding, in-person contact seems to be decreasing. How are these changes affecting the way people connect with each other? How does this affect how people form relationships, make decisions, and judge others?

This research involves at least two big projects:

1. How does the medium of communication affect our judgments of people, and our ability to understand what they really mean? In this project, we explore whether hearing a person’s speech makes them seem smarter, more likable, and more sincere than reading the exact same words in text. We also test whether other media, such as watching a person in video, changes judgments of them. We examine consequences of engaging with people in different media, including likelihood of conflict and dehumanization.

2. If humans are social animals, then why do they choose to remain disconnected with people sometimes? Here we explore when people don’t want to connect with others, such as when they are strangers. In one set of studies, we asked strangers to have conversations on public transportation (e.g., buses, cabs, trains). We find that even when people say they don’t want to connect with someone, they typically have a good experience once they are doing it. We are currently expanding on these results, testing other types of conversations and how ice-breakers (vs. “ice-makers”) affect people’s likelihood of engaging in conversation.


If you have a preference between the two projects mentioned above, please let us know. We will match you to the study that best fits your interest.

You will gain experience in nearly all aspects of the research process, including theoretical/literature review, laboratory protocol design, data collection, and questionnaire quality control.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Brianna Bottle, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: We seek research apprentices who are interested in human thinking and decision making and are motivated, conscientious, and eager to learn. Coursework on research design and basic statistics is a plus. We are especially interested in students who are considering applying to graduate school to do research in Psychology or any field related to Psychology! Please check my website for full information about my research.

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Related website: http://www.julianaschroeder.com

Open (3) Dehumanization

Open. Apprentices needed for the spring semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before February 5th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning January 9th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, January 23rd at 8 AM.

When and why do people perceive others as being less than human? Traditionally, dehumanization has been studied in intergroup conflict (e.g., during the Holocaust). However, recent evidence suggests that people may subtly dehumanize others as well. Consider remarks made by the lieutenant governor of South Carolina, Andre Bauer, in 2010. Speaking about the problems of government assistance at a town hall meeting, Bauer argued that the poor should not be given food assistance because “they will reproduce, especially the ones that don’t think too much further than that . . . They don’t know any better.” Bauer’s quote, intended or not, implies that the poor have a relatively diminished capacity for foresight, or a reduced tendency to think carefully about the consequences of one’s actions. This is a type of dehumanization.

We are conducting several different projects exploring factors that influence when people dehumanize others.

1. Longitudinal field studies with Palestinian and Jewish Israelis engaging in co-existence programs. The purpose of this research is to understand how contact interventions can reduce cross-group dehumanization, and particularly which aspects of the interventions can predict future attitude change.

2. How organizational context influences the way people perceive and treat acquaintances. For example, does networking (vs. socializing) make people feel more inclined to “use” their connections?

3. How goal instrumentality affects relationships. When someone is very important for your goals, does it change how you think about the person and treat them? We have tested this in different types of relationships: children & parents; patients & physicians; bosses & subordinates.

4. Do people perceive the needs of others as being different from their own, particularly those from other groups? How does this affect the way people try to motivate others, or help others?


If you have a preference among the four projects mentioned above, please let us know. We will match you to the study that best fits your interest.

You will gain experience in nearly all aspects of the research process, including theoretical/literature review, laboratory protocol design, data collection, and questionnaire quality control.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Brianna Bottle, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: We seek research apprentices who are interested in human thinking and decision making and are motivated, conscientious, and eager to learn. Coursework on research design and basic statistics is a plus. We are especially interested in students who are considering applying to graduate school to do research in Psychology or any field related to Psychology! Please check my website for full information about my research.

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Related website: http://www.julianaschroeder.com

Closed (4) Overclaiming Credit for Group Tasks

Closed. This professor is continuing with Fall 2017 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Spring 2018.

Groups often exhibit “overclaiming,” wherein members’ perceived contributions to a group task add to more than the logically allowable 100% of work accomplished. One reason for this overclaiming is that people allocate responsibility for group tasks egocentrically, considering their own efforts in the group more than others’ efforts. In this project, we explore the consequences of egocentric bias in groups for overclaiming credit on tasks.

For example, in one sub-project, we study whether indirect contributors (e.g., managers) are more likely to overclaim responsibility for group tasks than direct contributors (e.g., workers) because they credit their efforts that do not actually contribute to a final product. Indirect contributors’ supervisory efforts may provide an illusion of meaningful contribution.


You will gain experience in nearly all aspects of the research process, including theoretical/literature review, laboratory protocol design, data collection, and questionnaire quality control.



Qualifications: We seek research apprentices who are interested in human thinking and decision making and are motivated, conscientious, and eager to learn. Coursework on research design and basic statistics is a plus. We are especially interested in students who are considering applying to graduate school to do research in Psychology or any field related to Psychology! Please check my website for full information about my research.

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Related website: http://www.julianaschroeder.com