Kerri Johnson

Kerri Johnson

Kerri Johnson

Professor and Chair

Office: 2330 Rolfe Hall


Phone: 310-825-4199

Personal Website

Curriculum Vitae

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My research incorporates diverse methods that are at the cutting-edge of communication science.  This enables me to pinpoint with unprecedented precision the visual cues that send messages to others and how these cues are utilized by perceivers.  In addition to traditional tools such as surveys and experiments, I have used the following methods to shed light on interpersonal communication processes:

  • corneal reflection eye-tracking (to record what part of the face/body is being observed)
  • 3D motion analysis (to record/analyze precise patterns of body motion)
  • psychophysics (to record how visual cues alter perceptions)
  • behavioral measurements (to determine how nonverbal behaviors change in different situations)
  • psychophysiology (to record affective and arousal responses during events of social perception)

Taken together, these tools allow for a more comprehensive understanding of nonverbal communication.


Ph.D., Personality and Social Psychology, Cornell University
M.A., Experimental Psychology, University of Central Oklahoma
B.S., Education, University of Central Oklahoma


Nonverbal visual communication; body motion analysis; social categorization; social vision

Selected Publications

Carpinella, C. M., & Johnson, K. L. (in press).  Politics of the Face: The Role of Sex-Typicality on Trait Assessments of Politicians.  Social Cognition.

Lick, D. J., Johnson, K. L., & Gill, S. V. (in press).  Deliberate changes to gendered body motion influence basic social perceptions.  Social Cognition.

Lick, D. J., & Johnson, K. L. (2013).  Fluency of visual processing explains prejudiced evaluations following categorization of concealable stigmas. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 419 ˆ 425.

Carpinella, C. M., & Johnson, K. L. (2013).  Appearance-based politics:  Sex-typed facial cues communicate political party affiliation.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 156 ˆ 160.

Johnson, K. L., Iida, M., & Tassinary, L. G. (2012).  Person (mis)perception:  Functionally biased sex categorization of bodies.  Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences, 279, 4982 ˆ 4989.

Freeman, J. B., Johnson, K. L., Adams, R. B., Jr., & Ambady, N. (2012). The social-sensory interface:  Category interactions in person perception. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 8 (81), 1 ˆ 13.  Doi:  10.3389/fnint.2012.00081.

Johnson, K. L., Freeman, J. B., & Pauker, K. (2012).  Race is gendered:  How covarying phenotypes and stereotypes bias sex categorization.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102, 116 ˆ 131.

Johnson, K. L., & Ghavami, N. (2011).  At the crossroads of conspicuous and concealable:  What race categories communicate about sexual orientation. PLoS One, 6, e18025, doi:10.1371/journalpone.0018025.

Johnson, K. L., McKay, L., & Pollick, F. E. (2011).  Why „He throws like a girl‰ (but only when he‚s sad):  Emotion affects sex-decoding of biological motion displays. Cognition, 119, 265 ˆ 280.

Freeman, J. B., Johnson, K. L., Ambady, N., Rule, N. (2010).  Sexual orientation perception involves gendered facial cues.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 1318 ˆ 1331.

Johnson, K. L., Lurye, L. E., & Tassinary, L. G. (2010).  Sex categorization among preschool children:  Increasing sensitivity to sexually dimorphic cues. Child Development, 81, 1346 ˆ 1355.

Freeman, J. B., Ambady, N., Rule, N. O., & Johnson, K.L (2008).  Will a category cue attract you?  Motor output reveals dynamic competition across person construal.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  General, 137, 673 ˆ 690.

Johnson, K. L., Gill, S., Reichman, V., & Tassinary, L  G.  (2007).  Swagger, sway, and sexuality:  Judging Sexual Orientation from body motion and morphology.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 321 ˆ 334.

Johnson, K. L., & Tassinary, L. G.  (2007). Compatibility of basic social perceptions determines perceived attractiveness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104, 5246 ˆ 5251.

Johnson, K. L., & Tassinary, L. G.  (2005).  Perceiving sex directly and indirectly:  Meaning in motion and morphology.  Psychological Science, 16,890 ˆ 897.