Jonathan Kunstman

Johnathan Kunstman

Associate Professor
213 Psychology Building
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests focus on social psychology and the study of intergroup processes. In addition to general classes in social psychology (e.g., PSY 221), I teach courses that explore the empirical study of stereotyping, prejudice, stigma, and other intergroup dynamics. In the future, I look forward to teaching an upper-level undergraduate course on the psychology of power, leadership, and hierarchy.

Research Interests

Research in the Social Motives Lab focuses on motivated intergroup processes and the psychological experience of power. That is, how do motivations—like upholding important personal beliefs, basic desires for acceptance, and fear of negative social outcomes—shape interactions across group lines? How does controlling others’ outcomes change the way we think about and relate to others? Although our lab studies a variety of intergroup dynamics, we are most interested in the role of race, ethnicity, and social class. Importantly, to form a more complete picture of intergroup relations, our lab studies these dynamics from both majority and minority perspectives.  For instance, what factors lead White people to internalize the motivation to be egalitarian and value diversity? For students of color, how do concerns over Whites’ authenticity (i.e., are White peers being genuine) and desires for respect shape academic performance and social interactions in academic environments?

Representative Publications

Intergroup dynamics

  • Kunstman, J. W., Tuscherer, T.*, Trawalter, S., & Lloyd, E. P.* (in press). What lies beneath? Perceptions of Whites’ egalitarian motives moderate minority-group members’ responses to Whites’ smiles. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
  • Kunstman, J. W., Plant, E. A., & Deska, J.* (2016). White ≠ Poor? Whites distance, derogate, and deny low-SES ingroup members. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 42, 230-243.
  • Major, B., Kunstman, J. W., Malta, B. R., Sawyer, P., Townsend, S. S. M., & Mendes, W. B. (2016). Why are you being so nice to me? How suspicion of whites’ motives shapes minorities’ responses to positive feedback. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 62, 75-88.
  • LaCosse, J., Tuscherer, T.*, Kunstman, J. W., Plant, E. A., Trawalter, S., & Major, B.(2015). Suspicion of White people’s motives relates to relative accuracy in detecting external motivation to respond without prejudice. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 61, 1-4.
  • Kunstman, J. W., Plant, E. A., & LaCosse, J. Zielaskowski, K. (2013). Feeling in with the outgroup: Need fulfillment and the internalization of motivation to respond without prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105, 443-457.


  • Kunstman, J.W., Clerkin, E.M., Palmer, K.**, Peters, M.T.**, Dodd, D.*, Smith A.R. (2016). The power within: The experimental manipulation of power interacts with trait BDD symptoms to predict interoceptive accuracy. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 50, 178-186.
  • Kunstman, J. W., Smith, A. R., & Maner, J. K. (2014). Overpowering restriction: Power attenuates the perfectionism’s effect on dietary restriction. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 33, 630-652.
  • Kunstman, J. W. & Maner, J. K. (2011). Sexual overperception: Power, mating motives, and biases in social judgment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 282-294. 

* Denotes Miami Graduate Collaborator

** Denotes Miami Undergraduate Collaborator