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David S. March, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator


My research seeks to understand how people process information, particularly threatening information, and how the unique processing of threatening information affects judgments and behaviors. I have developed a theoretical model that integrates threat and social cognitive literatures to offer a number of testable insights for various fields of study involving both threat responses and later (but still automatic) evaluative processing. For example, I have current lines of research of that explore the unique role of threat in underlying certain types of racial prejudice and bias. The threat/valence distinction is also being applied to other exploring phenomena where a functional distinction is plausible, including, for example, phobias, intimate partner violence, and even suicide.

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Vincenzo J. Olivett

Graduate Student

I am interested in the interplay of affect and social cognition. My research explores how nonconscious affective processes inform attitudes and guide behaviors during social interactions. For example, much of my recent research has explored how automatic threat response and implicit attitudes affect people’s perceptions of the police and how threat-related processes shape behaviors during police-civilian interactions.

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Tara Lesick

Graduate Student

I am interested in why prejudice exists, how people portray prejudice, and the impact prejudice has on interactions. More specifically, I am interested in how race impacts police-suspect interactions and how automatic threat responses vary across different variables, such as skin tone, facial features, and racial identity.

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Research Assistants


Fall 2021

Top Row: Sydney Byk, Jamie Guterman, Jamie Heichelbech, Bernadyne Thelemaque, David Ackart

Lea Savoy, Valeria Huezo, Morgan Kirwan, Vinny Olivett

Rachel Strickland, Lauren Serra, Dr. March, Sarah Ferguson

Front Row: Gustavo Capone, Tara Lesick, Yaya Riley

Not pictured: Mercedes Jorge, Valeria Bauza, Jalen Blocker

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