Social Psychology Network

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Monica Harris

Monica Harris

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  • SPN Mentor

I received my B.A. from the University of California, Riverside, in 1983 and my Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1987. After obtaining my Ph.D. I came here to the University of Kentucky, where I obtained tenure in 1993. My research interests fall into three overlapping categories: teasing and peer victimization; interpersonal expectancy effects; and meta-analysis and other methodological issues.

I began my career focusing on interpersonal expectancy effects, or self-fulfilling prophecies. My early work focused on the verbal and nonverbal mediators of expectancy effects: e.g., when teachers hold positive expectancies for certain students, how do they treat those students differently so as to elicit the expected behavior? More recently I have turned my attention to moderators of expectancy effects, in other words, identifying personality and situational variables that influence whether an expectancy effect is likely to occur. I have also looked at the self-fulfilling effects of stigmatizing information, particularly in children, including research in collaboration with Rich Milich on the effects of the ADHD label on children's peer interactions. My most recent work on expectancy effects has focused on the moderating roles of interpersonal power, where I have conducted a series of studies in collaboration with my former graduate students John Georgesen and Robin Lightner that seeks to understand why it is that perceivers possessing higher power are more likely to obtain expectancy effects.

While at Harvard I had the incredible good fortune to have as my advisor Robert Rosenthal, who in addition to being the nicest man on this planet is also one of the leading authorities on meta-analysis, the set of statistical techniques that allows the quantitative combination of the results from multiple studies. I have collaborated on 12 published meta-analyses in addition to writing about meta-analysis. In addition, I have developed a graduate course in meta-analysis that is offered regularly. I have a general interest in research methods in addition to my expertise in meta-analysis. Along with Richard Smith, I have written a chapter on multimethod approaches in social psychology that recently appeared in an edited volume published by the APA. I was also co-author on the 7th edition of the SPSSI-produced "Research Methods in Social Relations" textbook.

Cutting across my research is an emphasis on studying interpersonal behavior and dyadic interactions, with a corresponding emphasis on studying the role of nonverbal behavior in determining the outcomes of interactions between individuals. I currently serve as Associate Editor of the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.

My work on the stigmatizing consequences of childhood expectations led rather naturally to a more recent interest in childhood teasing and peer victimization. I started this work with my colleague Rich Milich, where we looked at how the teasing victim's response to being teased affects subjects' impressions of the teasing interaction. We have also conducted more qualitative studies in college students where we look at the relationship between personality and people's narratives about specific teasing incidents from their past. More recently, my work on teasing falls into one of two categories: (a) Research on how teasing is used in adulthood, which focused on the positive effects of teasing for relationships and intimacy; and (b) research on peer victimization and bullying in childhood, which naturally focuses on the negative outcomes of teasing. With respect to the former, examples of recent research projects looking at teasing in adulthood include studies on how factors such as the relative status of the individuals and the presence or absence of redressive cues (e.g., smiling or saying, "just kidding") affects the interpretation of a tease, and studies looking at how romantic partners use teasing in their relationships.

My current research focuses on peer victimization in childhood and, specifically, the physiological and implicit social cognition mediators of bullying and victimization. I am currently editing a volume to be published by Springer Publishing Company in May, 2009, entitled "Bullying, rejection, and peer victimization: A social cognitive neuroscience perspective."

Primary Interests:

  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Nonverbal Behavior
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Research Methods, Assessment


Journal Articles:

  • Bollmer, J. M., Harris, M. J., & Milich, R. (2006). Reactions to bullying and peer victimization: Narratives, physiological arousal, and personality. Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 803-828.
  • Bollmer, J. M., Harris, M. J., Milich, R., & Georgesen, J. C. (2003). Taking offense: Effects of personality and teasing history on behavioral and emotional reactions to teasing. Journal of Personality, 71, 557-603.
  • Bollmer, J. M., Milich, R., Harris, M. J., & Maras, M. (2005). A friend in need: Friendship quality, internalizing/externalizing behavior, and peer victimization. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20, 701-712.
  • Cardi, M., Milich, R., Harris, M. J., & Kearns, E. (2007). Self-esteem moderates the response to forgiveness instructions in women with a history of victimization. Journal of Research in Personality, 41, 804-819.
  • Georgesen, J. C., & Harris, M. J. (2006). Holding onto power: Effects of powerholders' positional instability and expectancies on subordinate derogation. Journal of European Social Psychology, 36, 451-468.
  • Georgesen, J. C., & Harris, M. J. (1998). Why's my boss always holding me down? A meta-analysis of power effects on performance evaluation. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2, 184-195.
  • Georgesen, J. C., Harris, M. J., Milich, R., & Young, J. (1999). Just teasing...: Personality effects on perceptions and life narratives of childhood teasing. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 1254-1267.
  • Harris, M. J., Milich, R., Corbitt, E. M., Hoover, D. W., & Brady, M. (1992). Self-fulfilling effects of stigmatizing information on children's social interactions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 41-50.
  • Harris, M. J., Milich, R., Corbitt, E. M., Hoover, D. W., & Brady, M. (1992). Self-fulfilling effects of stigmatizing information on children's social interactions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 41-50.
  • Rosen, P. J., Milich, R., & Harris, M. J. (2007). Victims of their own cognitions: Implicit social cognitions, chronic peer victimization, and the victim schema model. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 28(3), 211-226.

Other Publications:

  • Harris, M. J., & Garris, C. P. (2008). You never get a second chance to make a first impression: The role of first impressions in subsequent information processing and behavior. In N. Ambady & J. Skowronski (Eds.), First Impressions (pp. 147-168). New York: Guilford Press.
  • Harris, M. J., & Rosenthal, R. (2005). Nonverbal behavior and education. In R. E. Riggio & R. S. Feldman (Eds.), Applications of nonverbal communication (pp. 157-192). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Rosen, P. J., Harris, M. J., & Milich, R. (2009). “Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?”: Emotions, cognitions, and the development of chronic peer victimization in children. In M. J. Harris (Ed.), Bullying, rejection, and peer victimization: A social cognitive neuroscience perspective. New York: Springer Publishing Company.
  • Smith, R. H., & Harris, M. J. (2006). Multimethod research strategies in social psychology. In M. Eid and E. Diener (Eds.), Handbook of Psychological Measurement: A Multimethod Perspective (pp. 385-400). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Courses Taught:

  • Experimental Psychology
  • Experimental Social Psychology
  • Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Meta-Analytic Techniques for the Behavioral Sciences
  • Methods in Experimental and Clinical Research
  • Multivariate Analysis in Social Research
  • Nonverbal Communication and Interpersonal Interaction
  • Social Construction of Identity
  • Social Psychology and Cross-Cultural Processes

Monica Harris
Department of Psychology
220-A Kastle Hall
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506-0044
United States

  • Work: (859) 257-6842
  • Home: (859) 269-2903
  • Mobile: (859) 229-4257
  • Fax: (606) 323-1979

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