Melissa J. Williams is an Assistant Professor in Organization & Management at Goizueta Business School, Emory University. She previously completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, and earned a Ph.D. in social and personality psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Williams studies conscious and nonconscious beliefs about social groups, and is especially interested in what happens when power and dominance meet gender, race, and culture. Current research questions include (a) whether, and under what circumstances, people like dominant women and men, (b) what causes powerholders to behave socially responsibly versus selfishly, (c) how power affects sexual harassment and other forms of subordinate exploitation, and (d) what the life consequences are of looking like a physically stereotypical or non-stereotypical member of your racial group.
Dr. Williams is the recipient of the Alumni Award for Excellence in Research from Emory University, the Geis Memorial Award for Dissertation Research from the Association for Women in Psychology, and an Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor award from UC Berkeley. Her work has been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and Personality and Social Psychology Review, among others.
- Culture and Ethnicity
- Gender Psychology
- Intergroup Relations
- Organizational Behavior
- Prejudice and Stereotyping
- Self and Identity
- Social Cognition
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- Goff, P. A., Eberhardt, J. L., Williams, M. J., & Jackson, M. C. (2008). Not yet human: Implicit knowledge, historical dehumanization, and contemporary consequences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(2), 292-306.
- Hebl, M. R.*, Williams, M. J.*, Sundermann, J., Kell, H., & Davies, P. G. (2012). Selectively friending: Racial stereotypicality and social rejection. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 1329-1335. *Authors contributed equally; order is alphabetical.
- Li, Y. J., Johnson, K. A., Cohen, A. B., Williams, M. J., Knowles, E. D., & Chen, Z. (2012). Fundamental(ist) attribution error: Protestants are dispositionally focused. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(2), 281-290.
- Spencer-Rodgers, J., Williams, M. J., Hamilton, D. L., Peng, K., & Wang, L. (2007). Culture and group perception: Dispositional and stereotypic inferences about novel and national groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93(4), 525-543.
- Spencer-Rodgers, J., Williams, M. J., & Peng, K. (2010). Cultural differences in expectations of change and tolerance for contradiction: A decade of empirical research. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 14(3), 296-312.
- Williams, M. J. (2014). Serving the self from the seat of power: Goals and threats predict self-interested leader behavior. Journal of Management, 40(5), 1365-1395.
- Williams, M. J., & Chen, S. (2014). When “mom’s the boss”: Control over domestic decision making reduces women’s interest in workplace power. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 17(4), 436-452.
- Williams, M. J., & Eberhardt, J. L. (2008). Biological conceptions of race and the motivation to cross racial boundaries. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(6), 1033-1047.
- Williams, M. J., & Hebl, M. R. (2005). Warding off the attacker: Self-defense in theory and in practice. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35(2), 366-382.
- Williams, M. J., & Mendelsohn, G. A. (2008). Gender clues and cues: Online interactions as windows into lay theories about men and women. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 30(3), 278-294.
- Williams, M. J., Paluck, E. L., & Spencer-Rodgers, J. (2010). The masculinity of money: Automatic stereotypes predict gender differences in estimated salaries. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34, 107-120.
- Williams, M. J., & Spencer-Rodgers, J. (2010). Culture and stereotyping processes: Integration and new directions. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 4(8), 591-604.
- Williams, M. J., & Tiedens, L. Z. (2015). The subtle suspension of backlash: A meta-analysis of penalties for women's implicit and explicit dominance behavior. Psychological Bulletin.
- Organization & Management
- Statistics & Research Methods
Melissa J. Williams
Goizueta Business School
1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30030
- Phone: 404-727-6693