Social Psychology, Emotion, Positive Emotion, Stereotypes, Prejudice, Facial Recognition, Categorization, Evolutionary Psychology


My primary research interests focus on how emotional states influence cognitive processes such as facial recognition. My past research has shown how positive emotional states can improve cross-racial identification. I have taught a wide variety of courses, but my specialty is in teaching Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, and Social Cognition. I also have a strong interest in Evolutionary Psychology, because evolutionary perspectives allow us to explain all scientific disciplines under a single framework.

Selected Publications

  • Johnson, K.J. & Fredrickson, B.L. (2005). We all look the same to me: Positive emotions eliminate the own-race bias. Psychological Science, 16, 875-881.
  • Johnson, K.J., Waugh, C.E., & Fredrickson, B.L. (2010). Smile to See the Forest: Facially expressed positive emotion broadens cognition. Cognition and Emotion, 24, 299 – 321.
  • Curby, K., Johnson, K.J., & Tyson, A. (2012). Face to Face with Emotion: Holistic face processing is modulated by emotional state. Cognition and Emotion, 1, 93 -102.

Courses Taught

  • Introductory Psychology (Psych as a Social Science)
  • Foundations of Social Psychology
  • Foundations of Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Cognition
  • Careers in Psychology
  • Capstone: “Quantum Evolutionary Psychology”