Maggie Thomas
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Maggie Thomas teaches a wide variety of courses in psychology. Her scholarly work is focused on prejudice and stereotyping. Every semester, Maggie has two-four student assistants who are involved in all aspects of her research projects.

Of her decision to teach at Earlham, Maggie says, “although many schools talk about issues of social justice, Earlham's faculty, staff, and students are actively engaged in working on issues of social justice. We talk the talk and do our best to walk the walk,” she says.

Contact Info

Campus Mail
Drawer 172

Phone
765-983-1451

E-mail
thomama@earlham.edu

Office
302 Landrum Bolling Center

Office Hours
By appointment

Programs/Departments

  • Psychology
  • Women's, Gender, Sexuality Studies

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S., Pennsylvania State University
  • B.A., Lawrence University

Selected Courses:

Introduction to Psychology, Social Psychology, Psychology of Prejudice, Psychology of Women, Human Sexuality, Psychology of Food, Psychology of Sustainability, Human-Animal Interactions, and Comprehensive Research Project.

I am trained as a stereotyping and prejudice researcher. Most of my scholarly research is about issues related to gender and most of it involves person perception (e.g., what do perceivers believe or think about given individuals). However, I also conduct research on human attitudes toward non-human animals.

Currently, I am working on a variety of research projects, all of which are broadly rooted within the framework of research on stereotyping and prejudice. Two of my current projects are as follows: 1. Investigating whether an individual's bodily performance of gender (through posture) affects how others perceive that individual's gender as well as how the individual perceives her/his own gender. Currently, my colleague and I have found that bodily performance of gender does affect perceptions of gender in others. 2. Assessing how human attitudes toward non-human animals affects emotional and behavioral responses toward non-human animals. My research in this area indicates that humans view non-human animals on the basis of competence and warmth, and that human's emotional and behavioral responses vary dramatically based on how they categorize an animal. 3. Investigating how language affects perceptions of group members. In this area, I am investigating how group labels affect perceptions of group members when that group has multiple labels (e.g., "Black" and "African-American" generally refer to the same group).

Published Papers

Vartanian, L., Thomas, M. A., & Vanman, E. (in press). Disgust, contempt, and anger and the stereotypes of obese people. Eating and Weight Disorders – Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity.  

Goff, P.A., Thomas, M. A., & Jackson, M.C. (2008). “Ain’t I a woman?”: Towards an intersectional approach to person perception and group-based harms. Sex Roles, 59(5-6), 392-403.  This issue of Sex Roles won the Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Women in Psychology.

Thomas, M.A. & Vescio, T.K. (2007). Publish or perish? Writing frequently to flourish. Dialogue, 22(1).

Swim, J.K. & Thomas, M.A. (2006). Responding to everyday discrimination: A synthesis of research on goal-directed, self-regulatory coping behaviors. In S. Lavin & C. van Laar (Eds.), Stigma and Group Inequality: Social Psychological Perspectives. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.   

Conference Presentations (since 2010) 

Thomas, M.A. (2014, February). Vegan is the new vegetarian. Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Austin, TX.

Thomas, M.A. & Noll, N.E. (2013, January). Performing gender. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. New Orleans, LA.

Thomas, M.A. & Noll, N.E. (2012, January). Gender performance through body position. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. San Diego, CA.

Vartanian, L., Thomas, M.A, & Vanman, E.J. (2012, January). Disgust and contempt differentially predict stereotyping of obese people and homosexual men. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. San Diego, CA.

Thomas, M.A. (2011, January). Cross-species competence and warmth: Some consequences for human attitudes toward non-human animals. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. San Antonio, TX.

Thomas, M.A. & Goff, P.A. (2010, January). A new tradition: Intersectionality in person perception and intergroup conflict. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Las Vegas, NV.

Association for Psychological Science

Society for the Teaching of Psychology (APA Division 2) 

Society for Personality and Social Psychology (APA Division 8) 

Society for the Psychology of Women (APA Division 35)

I chose to teach at Earlham because of the campus-wide and student focus on social justice. Although many schools talk about issues of social justice, Earlham's faculty, staff, and students are actively engaged in working on issues of social justice. We talk the talk and do our best to walk the walk.

Every semester I have 2-4 undergraduate research assistants who work on various research projects with me. My research assistants are involved in all aspects of data collection, including reading background literature, designing studies, creating/gathering materials, collecting data, and analyzing data. With Earlham students, I have worked on projects related to gender performance, stereotypicality, attitudes toward animals, and many other topics.

Outside of Earlham, I love to cook vegan food! I have a vegan food blog (http://lesvegankitchen.blogspot.com) where I post recipes that are delicious and aimed specifically at people who want to reduce their meat consumption. In addition to cooking, I also love to spend time with my wife, Shana, and our families and friends. Finally, I also really like to sing and often sing with a group on campus.

 

 

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