Neil Hester

Assistant Professor



BA, Texas Tech University; PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


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Personal Website

I will not be accepting new graduate students for Fall 2024

I research intersectionality in social cognition. Intersectionality describes how systems of oppression such as racism and sexism interlock to uniquely shape people’s experiences of privilege and disadvantage. Although intersectionality’s roots are philosophical and qualitative, it has lots to offer quantitative researchers for refining and expanding our theories in social cognition to be more inclusive of non-WEIRD, non-White experiences.

With this in mind, I am prioritizing two main lines of research. The first line concerns the role of dress (i.e., clothing, makeup, hair, etc.) in first impressions. The second line concerns best practices for measuring stereotype endorsement, stereotype knowledge, and expressed prejudice. I pursue these topics using a mix of experimentation, simulation, and big data analysis.

Selected Publications

Hester, N., Axt, J. R., Siemers, N., & Hehman, E. (2022). Evaluating validity properties of 25 race-related scales. Behavior Research Methods.

Hester, N., Xie, S. Y., & Hehman, E. (2021). Little between-region and between-country variance when forming impressions of others. Psychological Science.

Hester, N., Jones, B. C., & Hehman, E. (2021). Perceived masculinity and femininity contribute independently to facial impressions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Hester, N., Payne, K., Brown-Iannuzzi, J., & Gray, K. (2020). On intersectionality: How complex patterns of discrimination emerge from simple stereotypes. Psychological Science.

Hester, N., Gray, K. (2020). The moral psychology of raceless, genderless strangers. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 15, 216-230.

Hester, N. (2019). Perceived negative emotion in neutral faces: Gender-dependent effects on attractiveness and threat. Emotion, 19, 1490–1494.

Hester, N. & Gray, K. (2018). For Black men, being tall increases threat stereotyping and police stops. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 2711-2715.