Assistant Professor of Psychology
Dr. Kristina Howansky is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. She earned her B.A. as a double major in Psychology and Marine Biology at Rollins College. Before beginning her doctoral program, she spent a year conducting psychological research at New York University. She then completed her M.S. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Rutgers University.
People often assume that their thoughts and perceptions reflect an objective reality. Rather, a growing body of research suggests individual and contextual factors influence the way people think about and perceive the world around them. A group of people listening to the same Presidential debate may walk away with very different beliefs about who emerged victorious. A person encumbered with heavy bags may see a hill as steeper than someone empty-handed. Dr. Howansky's research broadly investigates the malleability of how people think about and perceive themselves, others, and the environment. Moreover, she examines the downstream consequences of cognitive and perceptual biases for large-scale social issues. Her research seeks to impact both psychological theory and social justice. Throughout her research, she draws upon varied methods tailored to the questions at hand, including creative measures of visual processes (e.g., facial morphing, eye-tracking, micro-expression coding, avatar generation).
Dr. Howansky’s work asks: What factors predict differences in the way people think about, perceive, and attend to members of stigmatized populations (e.g., members of the LGBTQ+ community)? What are the consequences of negative cognitive and perceptual biases for underrepresented populations? How is social feedback related to identity development and self-perceptions? How are cognitive and perceptual differences related to successful goal pursuit (e.g., health, smoking, romantic relationships)? How are cognitive biases about climate change related to pro-environmental behaviors?
She loves teaching, statistics, coffee, and all animals (especially her dog, Bowser, and pet rats).
Areas of Research Specialization
- Social Categorization
- Visual Processes
- Climate Change
Areas of Teaching Specialization
- Social Psychology
- Psychological Statistics
- Research Methods
B.A. in Marine Biology at Rollins College, 2012
B.A. in Psychology at Rollins College, 2012
M.S. in Psychology at Rutgers University, 2015
Ph.D. in Psychology at Rutgers University, 2019
- Research Spotlight
Howansky, K., Maimon, M., & Sanchez, D. (2021). Identity safety cues predict instructor impressions, belonging, and absences in the higher-ed classroom. Teaching of Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/0098628321990362
Howansky. K., Nucci, M. L, Cuite, C. L., & Jordan, R. (2021). (I think) I know, therefore I act: Examining the role of students’ self-assessed knowledge on pro-environmental action. Journal of Sustainability Education. Advance online publication.
Howansky, K., Wilton, L., & Young, D., Abrams, S.*, & Clapham, R.* (2021). (Trans)gender stereotypes and the self: Content and consequences of gender identity stereotypes. Self and Identity, 20(4), 478 – 495. https://doi.org/10.1080/15298868.2019.1617191
Maimon, M., Sanchez, D., Albuja, A., Howansky, K. (2021) Bisexual identity denial: The unique influence of identity denial experiences on bisexual mental health, meta-perceptions, and social concerns. Self and Identity, 20(4), 515 – 227. https://doi.org/10.1080/15298868.2019.1624275
Howansky, K., Albuja, A., & Cole, S. (2020). Seeing gender: Perceptual representations of transgender individuals. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 11(4), 474 – 482. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550619875143
Howansky, K., Dominick, J. K., & Cole, S. (2018). The look of success or failure: Biased self-perceptions serve as informational feedback during goal pursuit. Motivation Science, 5(4), 314 – 325. https://doi.org/10.1037/mot0000121
Manuel, S. K., Howansky, K., Chaney, K., Sanchez, D. (2017). No rest for the stigmatized: An organizational health and workplace sexism (OHWS) model. Sex Roles, 77(9 – 10), 697 – 708. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-017-0755-x
Houston, J. M., Harris, P. B., Howansky, K., & Houston, S. M. (2015). Winning at work: Trait competitiveness, personality types, and occupational interests. Personality and Individual Differences, 76, 49-51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.11.046