Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Kimberly Barsamian Kahn

Kimberly Barsamian Kahn

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Broadly, my research addresses contemporary forms of racial bias that are hidden, subtle, ignored, or unacknowledged by majority or minority group members within society. In doing so, my work moves beyond studying broad categorical distinctions between groups to provide a more nuanced and fine-grained analysis of modern prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. Using a social psychological approach with diverse samples, I am interested in how these subtle biases impact the activation and application of stereotypes across domains and contexts. I am currently investigating six main lines of research:

(1) How racial stereotypes affect behavior within the criminal justice domain. As a member of the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity (, I conduct research on the role of stereotyping and social identity threat on police behavior with minority suspects, as well as police/community perceptions and responses to racial profiling.

(2) How social identity threats impact academic performance. My research has focused on the ways in stereotype threat negatively impacts academic performance among stigmatized group members and testing possible interventions to counteract these outcomes.

(3) Confront prejudicing. A line of research assesses the social costs -- including interpersonal, intergroup, emotional, and cognitive costs-- that targets of discrimination encounter when they confront an individual who expresses prejudice.

(4) Stereotyping within sporting contexts. I am interested in the ways in which racial and gender stereotypes impact behavior within athletics, from the perspective of athletes, coaches, fans, and referees.

(5) Perceiving and accuracy of bias detection. I study how perceptions of discrimination and, importantly, the accuracy of such perceptions, differ between majority and minority group members.

(6) Within-group differences in bias. A major focus looks at the ways in which individuals within stigmatized groups differentially experience bias based on subtle factors like phenotypic stereotypicality or intersectional identities.

Primary Interests:

  • Aggression, Conflict, Peace
  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Gender Psychology
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Internet and Virtual Psychology
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Person Perception
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Self and Identity
  • Sexuality, Sexual Orientation

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Other Publications:

Courses Taught:

  • Intergroup Relations
  • Introductory Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Sport Psychology
  • The Psychology of Race and Gender in Sport

Kimberly Barsamian Kahn
Department of Psychology
Portland State University
P.O. Box 751
Portland, Oregon 97207-0751
United States

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