Swencionis's research investigates the dynamics of interpersonal interactions across social status, racial, and gender identities, with an eye toward how behavioral science can inform policy. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Policy from Princeton University, where she also earned an M.A. in Psychology. She completed her bachelor's degree in Social Studies and Psychology at Harvard University, and conducted psychological research on intergroup relations at New York University.
Examines why people have superior recognition memory for own-group members compared to other-group members. Provides evidence for one motivational mechanism underlying own-group bias: social belonging needs. Suggests that chronic belonging needs and social exclusion motivate own-group bias.
Examines the effect of proactive control on expressions of implicit racial bias. Presents a model of proactive and reactive control that offers a novel and generative perspective on self-regulation and prejudice reduction.
Investigates how individuals cope with social status divides in interpersonal interactions. Provides evidence that social status differences shift individuals' interaction goals in conveying two central dimensions of impression formation, warmth, and competence.
Investigates individuals' concerns about interpersonal interactions when interacting with higher- and lower-status others, and how individuals manage those concerns. Describes concerns and behavioral consequences involved in interpersonal interactions across social status divides, in particular a tendency of downward ingratiation and cooperation.
Maps the situational risk factors, that make individuals more likely to engage in disparate treatment—even without overt prejudice, to common experiences in modern patrol policing.