School of Psychology
McElwain Building, Level 3
University of Queensland
St Lucia, QLD 4072
B.S., University of Iowa. M.A., Ph.D., University of Southern California
Eric J. Vanman is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Queensland Australia. After receiving his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Southern California in 1994, he was a post-doctoral fellow in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience at USC and then spent a year as a research scientist at Texas A&M University. He was then a lecturer at Emory University until his appointment as an Assistant Professor at Georgia State University in 2000. He left Georgia State in 2007 as an Associate Professor to take up his current position. His research interests include the social neuroscience of emotion and intergroup prejudice, and his studies have incorporated several kinds of psychophysiological and neuroimaging methods.
Dr. Vanman is perhaps best known for his research on racial prejudice, in which participants’ facial EMG activity (i.e., activation of frowning and smiling muscles, in the absence of detectable facial displays of emotion) has been found to be related to prejudice and discriminatory behavior. His work on unconscious bias displayed via psychophysiological measures was among a few early studies that laid the groundwork for research on implicit measures that has dominated this research area for the last decade.
Associate Editor, Biological Psychology
Associate Editor, Cognition and Emotion
Editorial Board, Social Neuroscience
Co-chair, Education & Training Committee, Society for Social Neuroscience
Note: Coordinator roles prior to 2009 and tutor roles prior to 2006 are not included.
I will be supervising at least four honours students in 2017.
In the UQ Social Neuroscience Lab, we use various psychophysiological measures to examine emotional and cognitive processes involved in social interactions. Although informed by recent findings in neuroimaging, honours projects are typically done without people being put into a fMRI scanner. To heighten experimental realism, the laboratory has available interactive software programs so that participants become highly involved in the experimental procedures. Recent studies conducted by students in the lab have examined the effects of being the source or target of ostracism, implicit prejudice and discrimination, trust and motor mimicry, event-related potentials and guilt, and Facebook use. Honours students are required to attend weekly lab meetings with my PhD students and other research assistants, in addition to having individual supervision appointments.
In 2017, my honours students will be focusing on the situational factors that cause us to have more or less empathy for another person. These factors might include the facial expression of the other person, their age or race, how trustworthy they appear, their "story", etc. Each thesis project will involve learning how to record facial EMG (muscle activity from the face) and possibly other physiological measures. All projects will be "pre-registered" at the Open Science Framework site.
What about my honours supervision style? I realise that most new honours students are undertaking their first big research project, so early on I try to help them develop a realistic time schedule with a set of goals that we assess at our weekly individual meetings. Once data collection has begun, we meet individually less often, and but start to meet more often again when it's time to analyse the data. By the end of the year, I hope that my students feel that they can work more independently. I also like to improve students' writing skills whenever possible, so some of our lab meetings will cover those skills as well. To this end, each student will receive their own copy of the APA publication manual!
Please be sure to contact me if you have any questions. Unfortunately, I will miss the meet & greet session in January, but will be back in the country and free to meet with you on the afternoon of the 27th.
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