Nicolas Lab

Gandalf Nicolas

Gandalf Nicolas

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Rutgers University


At the Nicolas lab we study how people make sense of the social world. Our research is at the intersection of social cognition and interdisciplinary quantitative methods (e.g., machine learning and natural language processing). Specific topics include spontaneous stereotyping, perceptions of individuals who belong to multiple social groups (e.g., Multiracial and intersectional identities), first impressions based on facial appearance, and social biases in Artificial Intelligence.

Recent News

Access to the Nicolas, Bai, and Fiske (2021) stereotype content dictionaries and dictionary creation package (R)

The Nicolas Lab is looking for students to join for the Fall of 2020!

Please contact the faculty director at if you are interested!

Meet the Fellowship

Faculty Director


Gandalf Nicolas

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Social Cognition, Person Perception, Quantitative Methods, Bias in Machine Learning

Graduate Students


Erin Foy

Social Perception, Intersectional Identity, Structural & Systemic Bias, Social Equity


Rebecca Cipollina

Concealable Stigma, Anticipated Stigma, Sexual Minorities, Healthcare Interactions, Health Disparities

Undergraduate Research Assistants


Abigail Kozlowski

Social Cognition, Social Perception


Aya Totanji

Psychological Disorders, Stereotypes & Bias


Mohammad S. Wiswall

Social Cognition, Philosophy of Mind, Social Decision-Making, Bias & Stereotyping, Social Perception


Samantha Lee

Social Media Bias, Political Decision-making, Ethical AI


Complex Social Categorization

How are categorically-ambiguous and multiply-categorizable targets perceived?

Social-Cognitive Bias & Machine Learning

Do machine learning models reflect human stereotypes and social categorization biases?

Spontaneous Social Cognition Content

How are social groups, faces, and other social stimuli spontaneously perceived?

Recent Publications

Quickly discover relevant content by filtering publications.
(2021). Relational versus structural goals prioritize different social information. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology.


(2021). Comprehensive stereotype content dictionaries using a semi-automated method. European Journal of Social Psychology.


(2021). Exploring the adaptive role of core social motives in perceived societal threats. Asian Journal of Social Psychology.


(2021). Social motives of university students in seven countries: Measurement development and validation. Asian Journal of Social Psychology.