Oklahoma State University

    116 North Murray Hall

    Stillwater, OK


  • What We Do

    We're a SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY LAB. Research in our lab draws on theoretical perspectives from behavioral ecology, evolutionary biology, and animal behavior to address wide-ranging topics ---focusing on friendship, female cooperation and competition, and stereotyping and stigma.


    Employing group- and individual-level experiments, archival studies, and other methods, we investigate important aspects of social cognition and behavior.

  • Current Projects

    Many of our projects take place at the intersection of overlapping researching interests--most often exploring female sociality, friendship, stereotyping and prejudice.


    Some of the research themes we're currently pursuing at OSU and with our collaborators:

    Female cooperation & competition

    Every woman has at least two stories: One about how she could not have survived without the support of a female friend, and one about how a female friend broke her heart. We investigate the often-overlooked complexities of female sociality.


    Our friends make us happy, keep us healthy, and can even promote our reproductive fitness. But friendships remain understudied in social psychology. We explore these important bonds, asking, for example, what tactics do humans have for maintaining our valued friendships, and might men's and women's best friendships sometimes serve different functions?

    What causes fat stigma?

    A functional approach to understanding fat stigma overturns long-held beliefs about what drives stigma against the overweight and obese. Beyond BMI, fat stigma results from a complex perceptual calculus that involves different types of fat (often stored in different places on the body), gender, age, and race/ecology.

    What makes us happy? (And how do we perceive happy people?)

    The sorts of activities that make us happy and fulfilled change as a function of our age, gender, and relationship status. We explore what make us happy--and whether we can accurately predict what makes other people satisfied

    Life history strategy (not religion) explains prejudice

    Religious people are highly trusted--and even other atheists often dislike atheists. We use life-history strategy to explain social perceptions and behavior toward the religious and the non-religious.

    How do ecological variables shape everyday life?

    Income inequality is a strong predictor of violence. Does increasing income inequality also change the ways that women compete? How does pathogen prevalence affect the job market?

    Food sharing

    It's argued that food-sharing is a special case of cooperation. We explore perceptions of food-sharing pairs and groups to investigate what might be so special about commensality.

    The social functions of disgust expressions

    A "disgust" sound is the most recognizable emotional vocalization. What would you do If someone made that sound at you, or looked at you with disgust? What if a friend looked at you with disgust--and did so just after someone you both found annoying entered the room? We're exploring disgust expressions and their often-triadic social functions.

    Lay perceptions of the

    (un)acceptability of prejudice across functional domains

    Do people believe it is "OK" to have only same-race friends--romantic partners, employees? What about same-religion? Legislation prohibits discrimination on certain grounds--but only in specific domains (employment, housing). We explore the (un)acceptability of prejudice and discrimination across functionally-distinct social domains---such as mating, friendship, work---with surprising results.

  • Who We Are

    Assistant Professor of Psychology (Experimental)

    Oklahoma State University

    Dr. Krems received her PhD from Arizona State University, an MSc in Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology from The University of Oxford, and her AB from Bryn Mawr College.


    She is an interdisciplinary-minded social psychologist. Her research draws on theoretical perspectives from social psychology, behavioral ecology, evolutionary biology, and animal behavior to address wide-ranging topics in social cognition---often focusing on friendship, female sociality, and stereotyping.




    Jarrod Bock, M.S.

    Graduate Student

    Coordinator, Social & Evolutionary Psychology Lab

    Jarrod is a fourth-year student working with Dr. Byrd-Craven and Dr. Krems. His research broadly examines prejudice and stigma. In particular, his primary research interests are in using a functional approach to understanding stigma at both the explicit and implicit levels, examining the impact of dehumanization on sexual assault-related attitudes, and the relationship between cultures of honor, suicide, and other forms of aggression. His research also examines the asymmetrical judgments of one's own and others' prejudices (e.g., racism, sexism).



    EMAIL: jarrod.bock@okstate.edu

    Our Research Assistant Team

    Spring 2019 Undergraduate Research Assistants

    • Darling Arredondo
    • Kelsie Ballew
    • Garrett Dugan
    • Callie Pollet
    • Brett Keenan
    • Nicholas Korff
    • Maya West
    • Madison Young
  • RA Conference Presentations


    Undergraduate Research Assistants

    ***Overseen by Jarrod Bock***

    Dr. Krems can claim no credit for how amazing these posters are!

    2018 Oklahoma Psychological Society

    Poster: "Examining Implicit Animal Associations of Sexualized and Personalized Men and Women"

    Former RA Jordan Rahm presenting at the 2018 OPS meeting.

    2018 Oklahoma Psychological Society

    Poster: "Examining Correlates of Blatant Dehumanization of Men and Women"

    Current RA Brett Keenan presenting at the 2018 OPS meeting.

  • Join the lab!


    We're always looking for curious and motivated research assistants!


    If you would like to learn more about social psychology or evolutionary psychology---running experiments, how to think like a social psychologist---with hands-on training, reach out to us. In our lab, we expect conscientious and excited research assistants. In our weekly lab meetings, Dr. Krems, her graduate students, and the research assistants will discuss ongoing projects, how to get into graduate school, and the cutting-edge research at OSU.

  • Collaborators outside OSU

    Meet some of the people our lab works with closely in our ongoing research:

    Evolutionary Social Cognition Lab at Arizona State University

    PIs: Steven Neuberg, Douglas Kenrick, Vaughn Becker

    Cooperation & Conflict Lab at Arizona State University

    PI: Athena Aktipis

    Stigma & Motivation Lab at The University of Toronto

    PI: Rebecca Neel

    The Brain and Behaviour Lab at McMaster University

    PI: Tracy Vaillancourt

    The Culture and Ecology Lab at Arizona State University

    PI: Michael Varnum

    The Computational Mate Choice Lab at University of California, Santa Barbara

    PI: Daniel Conroy-Beam

    Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group at The University of Oxford

    PI: Prof. Robin I. M. Dunbar

    Evolution and Social Cognition (ESC) Lab at The University of Colorado, Boulder

    PI: Eric Pedersen

    The Psychology, Evolution, & Law Lab at Hamilton College

    PI: Keelah E. G. Williams

    The General Experimental Laboratory at St. Mary's University

    PI: Maryanne Fisher