Jennifer Prewitt-Freilino is on sabbatical for the 2014–15 academic year.
Jennifer Prewitt-Freilino joined the History,
Philosophy + the Social Sciences department at RISD in the fall of 2007, after
completing her PhD in social psychology at the University of Oklahoma. As RISD’s first full-time psychology professor, her course offerings include introductory classes in psychology, as well
as topics courses on a wide range of issues (e.g., Psychology of Evil,
Psychology of Gender, Stereotypes and Prejudice, Gender and the Media). She is actively involved in both curricular
and extracurricular initiatives to promote greater awareness of diversity
issues (especially those involving gender and sexuality). In her free time, she enjoys cooking, home
repair/renovation and spending time with family.
Academic research/ areas of interest
Jennifer Prewitt-Freilino’s primary research explores how
memberships in social groups and categories are a central part of people’s
understanding of the self, and threats to these identifications can have
powerful implications for people’s thoughts, feelings and behavior. For example, she has investigated
heterosexual men’s reactions to the possibility of being seen as gay and
Democrats’ and Republicans’ reactions to the possibility of being mistaken as a
member of the other party. Ultimately,
she hopes this work will highlight ways to increase people’s behavioral
flexibility, by allowing them to act in line with their natural inclinations,
rather than rigidly adhering to unfavorable group norms. Other lines of research include investigating
the links between narcissism, self-affect and self-conscious emotions and
cross-cultural reactions to social identity threats. Her work has been published in the Journal of
Personalityand Social Psychology, Self and Identity, Sex Roles, and the Journal
of East Asian Studies.