Richard Shiffrin

Richard Shiffrin

Distinguished Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences

Luther Dana Waterman Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences

Director of Speech Research Lab

  • (812) 855-4972
  • Psychology Building 350
  • Office Hours
    By Appointment Only


  • Ph.D., Stanford University, 1968


Much of my research examines the ways people perceive members of their own and other social groups, evaluate them positively or negatively, and behave toward them. In particular, recent research (in collaboration with Diane Mackie of the University of California, Santa Barbara) has focused on the role of emotions in prejudice and intergroup behavior. The core insight of social identity theory and related viewpoints such as self-categorization theory is that an important social group membership becomes part of a person's self. This assumption means that, like any aspect of the self, group membership takes on motivational and affective significance. A new theory of intergroup emotions arises from combining this assumption with appraisal theories of emotion. In this theory, prejudice involves emotional reactions to an out-group based on appraisals of its relationship to the in-group (such as threat). In turn, these group-based emotions may lead to discriminatory behaviors toward the out-group. Aspects of this new theory have been tested and confirmed in several studies.