Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Melissa Burkley

Melissa Burkley

  • Media Contact

My primary area of research centers around the issues of stereotypes, stigma, and group processes. My work has examined:
- how men-as-predatory and women-as-prey metaphors perpetuate sexual violence
- the role of sexism in teh 2016 presidential election
- the development and refinement of an implicit bias measure (i.e., the Affect Misattribution Procedure)
- the development of a new measure that assess the extent that men's self-worth is based on their masculinity (i.e., the Masculinity Contingency Scale)
- the structure and content of Native American stereotypes
- the harmful effects of Native American sports mascots
- how women use gender stereotypes to excuse their math failures and the positive/negative consequences that result
- how sexist video games perpetuate sexism and sexual violence
- how gay stereotypes result in stereotype lift

My second area of research is concerned with motivation. I have co-authored a textbook on the topic entitled Motivation Science and have also conducted studies on various topics including:
- how goals fuse with people's sense of self (i.e., goal fusion)
- fixed versus malleable beliefs about beauty (aka The Ugly Duckling Effect)
- circadian rhythms and self-control
- factors of goal commitment

In addition to my academic work, I am also a blogger and writer. I write a blog for Psychology Today called "The Social Thinker" and I run "The Writer's Laboratory," a blog that teaches writers how to use psychological science to improve their craft. You can check it out at

Primary Interests:

  • Group Processes
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

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Journal Articles:

Courses Taught:

  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Stereotypes and Prejudice

Melissa Burkley
Lake Saint Louis, Missouri 63367
United States of America

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