Neil Hester, PhD

Neil Hester, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Seeing Human Lab, McGill University


I research stereotyping and discrimination, person perception, and social cognition, with a focus on two specific topics. One focus is intersectionality, which describes the unique patterns of stereotyping and discrimination that emerge from having multiple identities (e.g., being a Black woman or a gay man). The other focus is better understanding how cognitions (e.g., stereotypes) translate to behaviors (e.g., discrimination) using threshold models.

My work mixes three quantitative approaches: experimentation, simulation, and big data analysis. I have published papers in various outlets, such as The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Psychological Science, and Perspectives on Psychological Science. In my spare time, I enjoy singing, playing/watching basketball, and writing music (I have an EP with a friend called Sunfall).



Hester, N., Jones, B. C., & Hehman, E. (in press). Perceived femininity and masculinity contribute independently to facial impressions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Hester, N., Payne, K., Brown-Iannuzzi, J., & Gray, K. (2020). On intersectionality: How complex patterns of discrimination emerge from simple stereotypes. Psychological Science.

Hester, N., & Gray, K. (2020). The moral psychology of raceless, genderless strangers. Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Hester, N., Payne, K., & Gray, K. (2020). Promiscuous condemnation: People assume immorality for ambiguous actions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Cooley, E.*, Hester, N.*, Cipolli, W., Rivera, L., Abrams, K., Pagan, J., Sommers., S. R., Payne, K. (2020). Racial biases in officers’ decisions to frisk are amplified for Black people stopped among groups leading to similar biases in searches, arrests, and use of force. Society for Psychology and Personality Science.

Hester, N. (2019). Perceived negative emotion in neutral faces: Gender-dependent effects on attractiveness and threat. Emotion.

Hester, N. & Gray, K. (2018). For Black men, being tall increases threat stereotyping and police stops. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Buck, B., Hester, N., Pinkham, A., Harvey, P. D., Jarskog, L. F., & Penn, D. L. (2018). The bias toward intentionality in schizophrenia: Automaticity, context, and relationships to symptoms and functioning. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Buck, B. & Hester, N. (2018). “Just like someone with mental illness, only more so”: Normalizing beliefs and their buffering effects. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

Jackson, J. J., Hester, N., Gray, K. (2018). The faces of God in America: Revealing religious diversity across people and politics. PLoS ONE.

Gray, K., Anderson, S., Doyle, C. M., Hester, N., Schmitt, P., Vonasch, A., Allison, S., & Jackson, J. J. (2018). To be immortal, do good or evil. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Larsen, J. T., Hershfield, H. E., Hester, N., & Stastny, B. J. (2017). On the relationship between positive and negative affect: Their correlation and their co-occurrence. Emotion.

Buck, B., Hester, N., Penn, D. L., & Gray, K. (2017). Mind perception in subclinical psychosis: Evidence for differential patterns in perceptions of mind in schizotypy and paranoia. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry.

Schein, C., Hester, N. & Gray, K. (2016). The visual guide to morality: Vision as an integrative analogy for moral experience, variability and mechanism. Social and Personality Psychology Compass.