Angela Bell, PhD

she/her, Assistant Professor


I am a social psychologist who is interested in both social and cognitive biases that impact intergroup relations and members of stigmatized groups. I am particularly interested in answering questions such as: (1) Why do people fail to recognize their own racism but seem capable of identifying racism in others? (2) Which social and cognitive factors influence attributions and judgments of prejudice? (3) How do stereotypes and stigma shape one’s health and well-being?

To address these questions, I’ve published work on asymmetrical self-other judgments of prejudice, self-stereotyping in women, Native American stereotypes, measuring masculine self-concept, and ingroup projection as an impediment to bipartisanship in US politics. I’ve also applied my research interests as a community organizer in the field of psychological science, and I am a co-Principal Investigator on the NSF-funded initiative, Flourish: A network for pre-tenure faculty of color in personality/social psychology.

Currently, my research program primarily investigates how people make judgments about themselves and others. Specifically, I examine how social comparison biases (e.g., the better-than-average effect) and the self-enhancement motive (i.e., the need to view oneself positively) might inform people’s racism denials, one’s ability to detect and reduce prejudice in oneself, and support for anti-racist actions.

Research Interests

  • Anti-Black Racism
  • Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination
  • Social Cognition
  • Self & Identity

Current Courses

Psy 341: Psychology and Culture
This course gives students an overview of how culture shapes psychological experiences, including cognition, development, personality, emotions, health, social relationships, and group dynamics. We will learn about the methodological approaches and challenges to operationalizing culture, understanding the origins of culture, and cross-cultural (i.e., comparative) research. We will identify the causes of culture and understand how culture is transmitted. In all, we will examine how the science of cultural psychology and demonstrating cultural awareness can advance the field of psychology and make ourselves savvier consumers of research.

Psy 441: Seminar in Cross-Cultural Psychology
Who am I? Why am I who I am? This seminar is an in-depth study of how cultural experiences influence the self, personality, and cultural identification. We will cover topics on race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality,  disability, social class, nationality, religion, and intersectionality with respect to our multicultural selves. We will examine theories on cultural development, narrative identity, cognition, self-esteem and motivation, stereotyping and prejudice, group memberships, and relationships. Students will (a) actively contribute to seminar discussions and work collaboratively; (b) regularly read and respond to primary research articles published in the field of social and cultural psychology; and (3) convey the methods, findings, and broader applications to lay audiences in clear and accessible ways.