Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Reginald B. Adams, Jr.

Reginald B. Adams, Jr.

My work currently focuses on how we extract social and emotional meaning from nonverbal cues, particularly via the face. I seek to better understand how multiple social messages (e.g., emotion, gender, race, age, etc.) combine and interact to form unified representations that guide our impressions of and responses to others. Although my questions are social psychological in origin, they draw heavily upon visual cognition and affective neuroscience to address social perception at the functional, cross-cultural, and neuroanatomical levels. Before coming to Penn State, I was awarded a National Research Service Award (NRSA) to train as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard and Tufts Universities, and since have been funded by the National Science Foundation. I recently received the SAGE Young Scholars Award (Early Career) from The Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology.

Primary Interests:

  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Gender Psychology
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Neuroscience, Psychophysiology
  • Nonverbal Behavior
  • Person Perception
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:


Journal Articles:

  • Adams, R. B., Jr., Franklin, R. G., Jr., Kveraga, K., Ambady, N., Kleck, R. E., Whalen, P. J., Hadjikhani, N. & Nelson, A.J. (in press). Amygdala responses to clear-versus-ambiguous threat vary as a function of rapid-versus-sustained processing. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
  • Adams, R. B., Jr., Franklin, R. G., Jr., Nelson, A. J., Gordon, H. L., Kleck, R. E., Whalen, P. J., & Ambady, N. (in press). Differentially tuned responses to severely restricted versus prolonged awareness of threat: A preliminary fMRI investigation. Brain and Cognition.
  • Beeney, J. E., Franklin, R. G., Levy, K. N., Adams, R.B., Jr. (in press). I feel your pain: Emotional closeness modulates neural responses to empathically experienced rejection. Social Neuroscience.
  • Adams, R. B., Jr., Ambady, N., Macrae, C. N., & Kleck, R. E. (2006). Emotional expressions forecast approach-avoidance behavior. Motivation & Emotion, 30, 179-188.
  • Adams, R. B., Jr., Franklin, R. G., Rule, N. O., Freeman, J. B., Yoshikawa, S., Kveraga, K., Hadjikhani, N., & Ambady, N. (2010). Culture, gaze, and the neural processing of fear expressions: An fMRI investigation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 5, 340-348.
  • Adams, R. B., Jr., Gordon, H. L., Baird, A. A., Ambady, N., & Kleck, R. E. (2003). Effects of gaze on amygdala sensitivity to anger and fear faces. Science, 300, 1536.
  • Adams, R. B., Jr., & Janata, P. (2002). An fMRI comparison of neural circuits underlying auditory and visual object categorization. NeuroImage, 16, 361-377.
  • Adams, R. B., Jr., & Kleck, R. E. (2005). The effects of direct and averted gaze on the perception of facially communicated emotion. Emotion, 5, 3-11.
  • Adams, R. B., Jr., & Kleck, R. E. (2003). Perceived gaze direction and the processing of facial displays of emotion. Psychological Science, 14, 644-647.
  • Adams, R. B., Jr., Pauker, K., & Weisbuch, M. (2010). Looking the other way: The role of gaze direction in the cross-race memory effect. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 478-481.
  • Adams, R. B., Jr., Rule, N., Franklin, R. G., Jr., Wang, E., Stevenson, M. T., Yoshikawa, S., Nomura, M., Sato, W., Kveraga, K., & Ambady, N. (2010). Cross-cultural reading the mind in the eyes: An fMRI investigation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22, 97-108.
  • Franklin, R. G., Jr., & Adams, R. B., Jr. (2010). The two sides of beauty: Laterality and the duality of facial attractiveness. Brain and Cognition, 72, 300-305.
  • Franklin, R. G., Jr., & Adams, R. B., Jr. (2010). What makes a face memorable? The relationship between face memory and emotional state reasoning. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 8-12.
  • Franklin, R. G., Jr., & Adams, R. B., Jr. (2009). A dual-process account of facial attractiveness: Sexual and nonsexual routes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 1156-1159.
  • Marsh, A. A., Adams, R. B., Jr., & Kleck, R. E. (2005). Why do fear and anger look the way they do? Form and social function in facial expressions. Personality and Social Psychological Bulletin, 31, 73-86.
  • Rule, N. O., Ambady, N., Adams, R. B., Jr., Ozono, H., Nakashima, S., Yoshikawa, S., & Watabe, M. (2010). Polling the face: Prediction and consensus across cultures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98, 1-15.

Other Publications:

  • Adams, R.B., Jr., & Nelson, A. J. (in press). Intersecting identities and expressions: The compound nature of social perception. In J. Decety & J. Cacioppo (Eds.), The Handbook of Social Neuroscience. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Adams, R. B., Jr., Franklin, R. G., Jr., Nelson, A. J., & Stevenson, M. T. (2010). Compound social cues in face processing (pp. 90-107). In R. B. Adams, Jr., N. Ambady, K. Nakayama, & S. Shimojo (Eds.), The Science of Social Vision. New York: Oxford University Press.

Courses Taught:

  • Good Science Good Practice
  • Social Affective Neuroscience
  • Social Psychology at Face Value
  • Social Vision
  • The Laughing Animal
  • The Psychology of Human Emotion

Reginald B. Adams, Jr.
Department of Psychology
544 Moore Building
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania 16802
United States

  • Phone: (814) 863-1725
  • Fax: (814) 863-7002

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