Kerry Kawakami is the current Editor of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes. She is also a professor of social psychology at York University in Toronto. Her research focuses on developing strategies to reduce intergroup bias.
Kawakami graduated from University of Amsterdam and received her Ph.D. in psychology from University of Toronto. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). As a professor at York University, she heads the Social Cognition Lab, which investigates social categorization processes. Kawakami’s work on stereotyping and intergroup bias has led to her international recognition.
In 2014, Kawakami conducted a study investigating aversive racism in Canada using eye tracking technology. Over one thousand white participants were shown images of white faces and black faces on a computer screen. Eye tracking data showed that the participants tended to focus more on the eyes of white faces and the lips and noses of black faces. Given the importance of eye contact in social interaction, this result indicates that the black faces shown were being processed as members of a group rather than as individuals.
Kawakami's work has also shown that people are more tolerant of racist actions than they claim. In one study, her team showed that although only 17% of people said they would be willing to partner with someone who made a racial slur, 63% of people who actually heard the slur subsequently partnered with that person.
- Friesen, J. P. , Kawakami, K., Vingilis-Jaremko, L., Caprara, R., Sidhu, D., Williams, A., Hugenberg, K., Rodriguez-Bailon, R., Canadas, E., & Niedenthal, P. (2019). Perceiving happiness in an intergroup context: The role of race and attention to the eyes in differentiating between true and false smiles. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 116, 375-395.
- Phills, C. E., Kawakami, K., Krusemark, D. R., & Nyguen, J. (2019). Does reducing implicit prejudice increase outgroup identification? The downstream consequences of evaluative training on associations between the self and racial categories. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 10, 26-34.
- Kawakami, K., Friesen, J., & Vingilis-Jaremko, L. (2018). Visual Attention to Members of Own and Other Groups: Preferences, Determinants, and Consequences. Social Personality Psychology Compass, 12(312480), 1-16.
- Kawakami, K. (Ed.). (2014). The psychology of prejudice (Four volume set). London: Sage.
- Miller, A. (October, 2013). A broadening field: The new editor of Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes strives for inclusivity. Monitor on Psychology, 44(9), p. 72. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/10/journal-irgp
- Kerry Kawakami, York University Profile. http://health.yorku.ca/health-profiles/index.php?mid=187606
- "I Am Psyched! for Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month" Honoree bio. Public Interest Directorate, American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/pi/women/iampsyched/heritage-months/asian-pacific-heritage
- SASP2019 Conference Organising Committee. Society of Australasian Social Psychologists. https://sasp.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/SASP2019_Conference_First_Announcement.pdf
- McCue, D. (November 12, 2014). Racism still an uncomfortable truth in Canada. CBC News. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/racism-still-an-uncomfortable-truth-in-canada-duncan-mccue-1.2831066
- Risen, J., & Wu, G. (April 12, 2019). How to react to a colleague's microaggression. Chicago Booth Review Retrieved on May 16, 2019 from http://review.chicagobooth.edu/behavioral-science/2019/article/how-react-colleague-s-microaggression
- Zamzow, J. (December 1, 2017). How would you respond to sexual harassment training? Probably not how you think. Washington Post Retrieved May 16, 2019 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/how-would-you-respond-to-sexual-harassment-probably-not-how-you-think/2017/12/01/2ab6845c-d52a-11e7-b62d-d9345ced896d_story.html