I am a social psychologist and a term assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Barnard College. I recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at NYU, where I also earned my PhD in psychology, with a major in social psychology and a minor in quantitative psychology. I received my BA in psychology, with a minor in dance, from Bates College.

Broadly, I study fundamental processes in interpersonal interactions. I examine how people's psychological experiences, behaviors, and physiology are influenced by interacting with other people, and I focus in particular on how influence occurs between people from different social groups. To do so, I study diverse populations around the world in both lab and field settings. I ask questions such as: Do women engage with female peers in ways that differ from how they engage with male peers in math and science? When meeting someone from a different country, how does the knowledge that one’s partner is from a country that is richer or poorer than one’s own shape how quickly people “tune in” to their partners?

I examine questions regarding interpersonal communication and influence, as well as physiological correlates of these processes, by studying face-to-face social interactions. I capture psychological, behavioral, and physiological processes as they naturally unfold over time, and I develop and employ novel analytic techniques and new methods for physiological and behavioral measurement.


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Contact: katherine.thorson@gmail.com

Updated August 2019