Amy Cuddy

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Amy Cuddy
Amy J.C. Cuddy. Photo by Evgenia Eliseeva
Born 1972 (age 42–43)
Nationality American
Institutions Rutgers University
Kellogg School of Management
Harvard Business School
Alma mater University of Colorado
Princeton University
Thesis The bias map: behavior from intergroup affect and stereotypes (2005)
Doctoral advisor Susan Fiske

Amy Joy Casselberry Cuddy (born 1972) is an American social psychologist known for her research on stereotyping and discrimination, emotions, power, nonverbal behavior, and the effects of social stimuli on hormone levels. She is Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School.[1] Her TEDTalk, delivered at TEDGlobal 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland, and posted in October 2012, has been viewed more than 21 million times and ranks #2 among the most-viewed TEDTalks.[2][3]

Cuddy studies the origins and outcomes of how people judge and influence each other. She has conducted experimental and correlational research on stereotyping and discrimination against various groups (e.g., Asian Americans, elderly people, Latinos, working mothers), the causes and consequences of feeling ambivalent emotions (e.g., envy and pity), nonverbal behavior and communication, and hormonal responses to social stimuli. Amy Cuddy was listed #1 in Time Magazine's list of "Game Changers, ...innovators and problem-solvers that are inspiring change in America".[4]

She often speaks on the psychology of power, influence, nonverbal communication, and prejudice.[5][6][7]


Cuddy holds a PhD in Social Psychology from Princeton University, an MA in Social Psychology from Princeton University and a BA in Social Psychology from the University of Colorado.

Prior to joining Harvard Business School, Professor Cuddy was an Assistant Professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University,[8] where she taught leadership in organizations in the MBA program and research methods in the doctoral program; and an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University, where she taught undergraduate social psychology. At Harvard Business School, she has taught MBA courses on negotiation, and power and influence, and in numerous executive education programs.


Along with Susan Fiske and Peter Glick (Lawrence University), Cuddy developed the Stereotype Content Model (SCM)[9] and the Behaviors from Intergroup Affect and Stereotypes (BIAS) Map,[10] which is used to make judgments of other people and groups within two core trait dimensions, warmth and competence, and to discern how these judgments shape and motivate our social emotions, intentions, and behaviors.[11] This work has been cited over 9000 times.

Cuddy’s research with Dana Carney[12] (UC-Berkeley) focuses on how nonverbal expressions of power (i.e., expansive, open, space-occupying postures)[13] affect people’s feelings, behaviors, and hormone levels.[14] In particular, their research shows that “faking” body postures associated with dominance and power (“power posing”)[15][16]  – even for as little as two minutes — increases people’s testosterone, decreases their cortisol, increases their appetite for risk, and causes them to perform better in job interviews.[17] In short, as David Brooks summarized the findings, “If you act powerfully, you will begin to think powerfully.”[18]

Her research has been published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Psychological Science, Research in Organizational Behavior, Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, and Science.

Awards and honors[edit]

  • TEDGlobal Speaker, 2012[19]
  • TIME magazine ‘Game Changer’, 2012[20]
  • PopTech Annual Conference, 'Talk of the Day' October 21, 2011[21]
  • Rising Star Award, Association for Psychological Science (APS), 2011[22]
  • Psychology Today, The Top 10 Psychology Studies of 2010 (Carney, Cuddy, & Yap, 2010)
  • Cover story, Harvard Magazine, Nov-Dec, 2010
  • The HBR List: Breakthrough Ideas for 2009, Harvard Business Review[23]
  • Michele Alexander Early Career Award, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Conrad Weiser High School, Robesonia, PA

Personal life[edit]

Amy Cuddy grew up in a very small Pennsylvania Dutch town, Robesonia, Pennsylvania. She is a classically trained ballet dancer and worked as a roller-skating waitress when she was an undergraduate at the University of Colorado at Boulder. When she was a sophomore in college she sustained a serious head injury in a car accident.[24][25][26][27] Her doctors told her she was not likely to fully recover and should anticipate significant challenges finishing her undergraduate degree. Her IQ fell temporarily by two standard deviations.[28][29] She eventually completed her undergraduate studies and went on to earn a PhD at Princeton. Cuddy has often tweeted of her love for live music, and spent a number of seasons following the Grateful Dead. She has one son. In August 2014, in Aspen, Colorado, Amy married Paul Coster.


  1. ^ "Faculty and Research". Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "TedTalks: Your body language shapes who you are". Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "TedTalks: Most Viewed TEDTalks". Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Game Changers". TIME Magazine, Special, (TIME). 19 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "What Your Sitting Style Says About You". TODAY Show. NBC. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "Game Changers: Amy Cuddy, Power Poser". TIME Inc. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Body Language | Your Business". MSNBC. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Kellog School of Management, Meet the new faculty". Kellog World, Alumni Magazine. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Cuddy, Amy J. C.; Fiske, Susan T.; Glick, Peter; Xu, Jun (June 2002). "A model of (often mixed) sterotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 82 (6): 878–902. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.82.6.878. PMID 12051578. 
  10. ^ Cuddy, Amy J. C.; Fiske, Susan T.; Glick, Peter (April 2007). "The BIAS map: Behaviors from intergroup affect and stereotypes". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 92 (4): 631–648. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.92.4.631. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  11. ^ Krakovsky, Marina. "Mixed Impressions: How We Judge Others on Multiple Levels". Scientific American Mind. Scientific American. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  12. ^ Carney, Dana R.; Cuddy, Amy J. C.; Yap, Andy J. (October 2010). "Power Posing – Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance". Journal of the Association for Psychological Science 21 (10): 1363–1368. doi:10.1177/0956797610383437. PMID 20855902. 
  13. ^ Venton, Danielle (15 May 2012). "Power Postures Can Make You Feel More Powerful". Wired. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "Boost Power Through Body Language". HBR Blog Network. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  15. ^ Buchanan, Leigh. "Leadership Advice: Strike a Pose". Inc.Magazine. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  16. ^ Baron, Neil. "Power Poses: Tweaking Your Body Language for Greater Success". Expert Perspective. Fast Company. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  17. ^ Halverson, Ph.D., Heidi Grant. "Feeling Timid and Powerless? Maybe It's How You Are Sitting". The Science of Success. Psychology Today. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  18. ^ Brooks, David (20 April 2011). "Matter Over Mind". The Opinion Pages (The New York Times). 
  19. ^ "TEDGlobal". Program Speakers, 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  20. ^ Cuddy, Amy (19 March 2012). "Game Changers, Innovators and problem solvers that are inspiring change in America". TIME Specials (TIME, Inc.). Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  21. ^ "PopTech Annual Conference". 'Talk of the Day', October 21, 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  22. ^ "Association for Psychological Science (APS)". Rising Star Award, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Harvard Business Review". The HBR List: Breakthrough Ideas for 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  24. ^ "Amy Cuddy, Power Poser". Game Changers (TIME Inc.). 19 March 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  25. ^ "What Your Sitting Style Says About You". TODAY Show, May 21, 2012. NBC. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  26. ^ Brooks, David. "Matter Over Mind". The Opinion Pages. The New York Times. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  27. ^ Lambert, Craig. "The Psyche on Automatic: Amy Cuddy Probes Snap Judgements, Warm Feelings, and How to Become an 'Alpha Dog'". Cover Story. Harvard Magazine. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  28. ^ "Ted Talks: Your body language shapes who you are". Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  29. ^ Brooks, David (20 April 2011). "Matter Over Mind". The Opinion Pages (The New York Times). Retrieved 4 April 2013. 

External links[edit]