Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

John Skowronski

John Skowronski

I have several threads to my research program. The first thread is social judgment. In recent years, this thread has been dominated by pursuit of the phenomena of Spontaneous Trait Inference (STI) and Spontaneous Trait Transference (STT). However, recent students have added to the thread by exploring (1) perceptions of excuses and excuse-makers and (2) how parents who at risk of engaging in child abuse might perceive children and their actions differently from parents who are not at risk of abuse.

My second thread has explored several autobiographical memory-related issues. One line of research has explored the emotions that people have in response to their memories. We have documented a Fading Affect Bias in those memories: The general trend for most people is for positive events to retain their emotion-invoking power, while negative events seem to lose emotional impact at recall. Recent research has explored moderators for this effect and possible causes for this effect. I also retain interests in: (1) temporal aspects of autobiographical memory, including issues such as the accuracy of the event dates that people can remember or reconstruct for events from their autobiographies, and factors affecting accuracy and error patterns in dating, ans (2) the content of autobiographical recall and how that content might be related to both processing at event occurrence as well as to post-event processing.

A third thread of research has also focused on memory. One set of studies in this program of research has explored how attending to misinformation provided by others can produce memory distortions. A second set of studies has examined how stereotypes can enhance memory for stereotype-congruent information, especially among those who are high in need for cognition. This result is interesting because it may contradict the common wisdom that those who are cognitively active may be least prone to the impact of stereotypes on cognition. A third set of studies is exploring congruency and incongruency effects in social memory. Results of this research suggests that the classic inter-item reconciliatory models that have often been discussed in the last 20 years or so may be wrong. My students are adding to the weaving in the third thread by exploring moderators and causes of the mnemic neglect effect.

These threads are also supplemented by my contributions as a collaborator to others' research programs. In recent years, these have included topics as diverse as: (1) a defense of the reality of post-choice attitude change effects, (2) explorations of the extent to which research might be contaminated by participant crosstalk, (3) assessments of post-tragedy affective forecasts, (4) issues in eyewitness identifications of crime perpetrators, and (5) the extent to which behavior-based self-judgments might be affected by construct accessibility.

Primary Interests:

  • Causal Attribution
  • Evolution and Genetics
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Person Perception
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

Note from the Network: The holder of this profile has certified having all necessary rights, licenses, and authorization to post the files listed below. Visitors are welcome to copy or use any files for noncommercial or journalistic purposes provided they credit the profile holder and cite this page as the source.

Image Gallery


Journal Articles:

  • Carlston, D. E., & Skowronski, J. J. (2005). Linking versus thinking: Evidence for the different associative and attributional bases of spontaneous trait transference and spontaneous trait inference. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 884-898.
  • Edlund, J. E., Sagarin, B. J., Skowronski, J. J., Johnson, S. J., & Kutter, J. (2009). Whatever happens in the laboratory stays in the laboratory: The prevalence and prevention of participant crosstalk. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(5), 635-642.
  • Monroe, M. R., Skowronski, J. J., MacDonald, W., & Wood, S. E. (2005). The mildly depressed experience more post-decisional regret than the non-depressed. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 24, 665-690.
  • Sedikides, C., & Skowronski, J. A. (1997). The symbolic self in evolutionary context. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1, 80-102.
  • Sedikides, C., & Skowronski, J. J. (2009). Social cognition and self-cognition: Two sides of the same evolutionary coin? European Journal of Social Psychology, 39(7), 1245-1249.
  • Sedikides, C., Skowronski, J. J., & Gaertner, L. (2004). Self-enhancement and Self-protection motivation: From the laboratory to an evolutionary context. Journal of Cultural and Evolutionary Psychology, 2, 61-79.
  • Skowronski, J. J. (2005). In diversity there is strength: An autobiographical memory research sampler. Social Cognition, 23, 1-10.
  • Skowronski, J. J. (2004). Giving sight and voice to the blind mutes: An overview of theoretical ideas in autobiographical memory. Social Cognition, 22, 451-459.
  • Skowronski, J. J., Gibbons, J. A., Vogl, R. J, & Walker, W. R. (2004). The effect of social disclosure on the affective intensity provoked by autobiographical memories. Self and Identity, 3, 285-309.
  • Skowronski, J. J., Sedikides, C., Heider, J. D., Wood, S. E., Scherer, C. R. (2010). On the road to self-perception: Interpretation of self-behaviors can be altered by priming. Journal of Personality, 78(1), 361-391.
  • Skowronski, J. J., & Walker, R. W. (2004). How describing autobiographical events can affect autobiographical memory. Social Cognition, 22, 555-590.

Courses Taught:

John Skowronski
Department of Psychology
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, Illinois 60115
United States

  • Phone: (815) 753-7073
  • Fax: (815) 753-8088

Send a message to John Skowronski

reCAPTCHA challenge image
Incorrect please try again
For security, type the characters shown above: For security, type the words:

Note: You will be emailed a copy of your message.

Psychology Headlines

From Around the World

News Feed (35,797 subscribers)