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.


The Nicolas Lab is looking for students to join!

Please contact the faculty director at if you are interested! For more information on our department’s opportunities for undergraduate RAs, please visit

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

Meet the Fellowship

Faculty Director


Gandalf Nicolas

Assistant Professor of Psychology

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

Postdoctoral Researchers


Andrew Cortopassi

Stigma, Self & Identity, Health & well-being

Graduate Students


Azar Tuerxuntuoheti

Social cognition, Group membership, Bias and stereotyping, Face perception


Erin Foy

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


Grace Grady

Social Perception, Stereotyping, Language

Undergraduate Research Assistants


Megan Ruskey

Spatial agency bias, Stereotyping, Self-perception


Meghana Chirra

Bias & machine learning, Psychiatric disorders, First impressions


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.
(2023). Valence biases and emergence in the stereotype content of intersecting social categories. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.


(2022). A spontaneous stereotype content model: Taxonomy, properties, and prediction. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology.


(2022). 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.