Past Research


With colleagues Phillip Atiba Goff and Matthew Christian Jackson, we investigated how the intersection of race and gender affect person perception. Specifically, we found that people can easily categorize the race of Black and White women and men, they are more likely to miscategorize the gender of Black women than of any other intersectional group.

Goff, P.A., Thomas, M. A., & Jackson, M.C. (2008). “Ain’t I a woman?”: Towards an intersectional approach to person perception and group-based harms. Sex Roles, 59(5-6), 392-403.

Gender Performativity

With colleague Nicole Noll, we researched Judith Butler’s theory of performativity by using body position. Across four studies, we extended past research on the masculinity and femininity of various body positions, found that taking those positions influenced others’ perceptions of the performers gender, and influenced how the performer perceived their own gender.

Thomas, M.A., &  Noll, N.E. (under review). Your daily performance: Posture influence perception of gender in others and the self.

  • Thomas, M.A. & Noll, N.E. (2012, January). Gender performance through body position. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. San Diego, CA. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1340.1206
  • Thomas, M.A. & Noll, N.E. (2013, January). Performing gender. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. New Orleans, LA. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1864.4086

Attitudes toward Animals

Attitudes toward human outgroups are captured by a variety of theories. This research applied the Stereotype Content Model (SCM; Fiske, Cuddy, Glick, & Xu, 2002) to attitudes toward non-human animals – a different type of outgroup. These studies found that the SCM accurately explains human attitudes, perceived emotions, and anticipated behaviors toward non-human animals.

Other Miscellaneous Publications/Presentations

  • Thomas, M.A. (2015, March). Engaged teaching. Invited workshop presented to the Psychology Department at Loyola University.
  • Thomas, M.A. (2014, May). So you want to teach. Invited talk presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association. Chicago, IL.
  • Vartanian, L., Thomas, M. A., & Vanman, E. (2013). Disgust, contempt, and anger and the stereotypes of obese people. Eating and Weight Disorders, 18, 377-382.