Kristina Howansky

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Kristina Howansky headshot

Biography

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. My research broadly investigates the malleability of how people think about and perceive themselves, others, and the environment. Moreover, I examine the downstream consequences of cognitive and perceptual biases for large-scale social issues. My research seeks to impact both psychological theory and social justice. Throughout my research, I draw 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? Dr. Howansky loves teaching, statistics, coffee, and all animals (especially her dog, Bowser, and rat, Milo).

Courses Recently Taught
  • PSYC250 Social Psychology
  • PSYC301 Psychological Statistics
Publications

Areas of Research Specialization

  • Social Categorization
  • Visual Processes
  • Stigma
  • Self-Regulation
  • Climate Change

Areas of Teaching Specialization

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychological Statistics
  • Research Methods

Education

  • 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