Dr. Sommers is a social psychologist interested in issues related to stereotyping, prejudice, and group diversity. His research focuses on two broad, often overlapping topic areas: (1) the influence of race-related norms and motivations on social cognition, judgment and decision-making, group dynamics, and interpersonal interaction; (2) the intersection of psychology and law. In 2008 he received the Saleem Shah Award for Early Career Excellence from the American Psychology-Law Society. In 2009 he was named Tufts University Professor of the Year by the Tufts Student Senate.
In addition to authoring over two dozen publications on issues related to race and diversity, he has served as an expert witness in multiple criminal cases, including capital trials in California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas. He has presented his research to a wide range of academic audiences at universities including Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Cornell, M.I.T., Claremont McKenna, Emory, Rutgers, UConn, UMass, and UTEP. He is the author of a general audience book on social psychology entitled *Situations Matter*; for more details, see www.samsommers.com.
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- Sommers, S. R. (2011). Situations matter: Understanding how context transforms your world. New York: Riverhead Books (Penguin).
- Apfelbaum, E. P., Pauker, K., Ambady, N., Sommers, S. R., & Norton, M. I. (2008). Learning (not) to talk about race: When older children underperform on social categorization. Developmental Psychology, 44, 1513-1518
- Apfelbaum, E. P., & Sommers, S. R. (2009). Liberating effects of losing control: When regulatory strategies turn maladaptive. Psychological Science, 20, 139-143.
- Apfelbaum, E. P., Sommers, S. R., & Norton, M. I. (2008). Seeing race and seeming racist? Evaluating strategic colorblindness in social interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 918-932.
- Norton, M. I., & Sommers, S. R. (2011). Whites see racism as a zero-sum game that they are now losing. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6(3) 215-218.
- Norton, M. I., Sommers, S. R., Apfelbaum, E. P., Pura, N. & Ariely, D. (2006). Colorblindness and interracial interaction: Playing the "political correctness game." Psychological Science, 17, 949-953.
- Norton, M. I., Sommers, S. R., & Brauner, S. (2007). Bias in jury selection: Justifying prohibited peremptory challenges. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 20, 467-479.
- Sommers, S. R. (2008). Determinants and consequences of jury racial diversity: Empirical findings, implications, and directions for future research. Social Issues and Policy Review, 2, 65-102.
- Sommers, S. R. (2007). Race and the decision-making of juries. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 12, 171-187.
- Sommers, S. R. (2006). On racial diversity and group decision-making: Identifying multiple effects of racial composition on jury deliberations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 597-612.
- Sommers, S. R., & Douglass, A. B. (2007). Context matters: Alibi strength varies according evaluator perspective. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 12, 41-54.
- Sommers, S. R., & Norton, M. I. (2008). Race and jury selection: Psychological perspectives on the peremptory challenge debate. American Psychologist, 63, 527-539.
- Sommers, S. R., & Norton, M. I. (2007). Race-based judgments, race-neutral justifications: Experimental examination of peremptory use and the Batson challenge procedure. Law and Human Behavior, 31, 261-273.
- Sommers, S. R., & Norton, M. I. (2006). Lay theories about White racists: What constitutes racism (and what doesn't). Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 9, 117-138.
- Sommers, S. R., Warp, L. S., & Mahoney, C. C. (2008). Cognitive effects of racial diversity: White individuals' information processing in heterogeneous groups. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 1129-1136.
- Sommers. S. R. (2008). Beyond information exchange: New perspectives on the benefits of racial diversity for group performance. In E. A. Mannix, M. A. Neale, & K. W. Phillips (Eds.), Research on Managing Groups and Teams (Volume 11; pp. 195-220). Oxford: Elsevier Science Press.
- Experimental Psychology
- Introduction to Psychology
- Psychology and Law
- Research Methods in Social Psychology
- Seminar in Advanced Social Psychology
- Social Psychology
Department of Psychology
490 Boston Avenue
Medford, Massachusetts 02155
United States of America
- Phone: (617) 627-5293
- Email: email@example.com