University of Texas at El Paso
Psychology Department
Stephen L. Crites, Jr.    

Stephen Crites
Personal Information    

Ph.D., Ohio State University (1994)

Professor and Department Chair

Curriculum Vitae

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Research Interests    

My research focuses on the physiological and motivational processes that are associated with, and influence, cognitive processes and judgments. My students and I examine electrical brain activity when people make like-dislike judgments (attitudes) or activate memories about categories of people (stereotypes). Attitudes are evaluative (like-dislike) judgments that help guide behavior – we use our attitudes to decide with whom we associate, what foods to eat, what TV shows to watch, et cetera. Stereotypes are memory structures that we use to help us understand and prepare for social interactions (especially with people we do not know well). We can measure brain activity that occurs when people see another person (or food, object, etc.) to examine issues such as: how quickly do we activate attitudes, how automatic are stereotypes, and how are attitudes influenced by emotions, moods and motivation states (e.g., how do food attitudes change when people are hungry). An objective of this research is to understand how the brain makes judgments and how it adjusts these judgments based on other relevant information when needed. Some of our research also explores whether brain activity can be used to assess a person’s attitude even if they lie about it.
Sample Publications    

Herring, D. R., White, K. R., Jabeen, L. N., Hinojos, M., Terrazas, G., Reyes, S. M., Taylor, J. H., & Crites, S. L., Jr. (2013, January 21). On the Automatic Activation of Attitudes: A Quarter Century of Evaluative Priming Research. Psychological Bulletin. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0031309

Herring, D. R., Taylor, J. H., White, K. R., & Crites, S. L. (2011). Electrophysiological responses to evaluative priming: The LPP is sensitive to incongruity. Emotion, 11(4), 794-806. doi:10.1037/a0022804

Crites, S. L., Jr., Mojica, A. J., Corral, G., & Taylor, J. H. (2010). An event-related potential paradigm for identifying (rare negative) attitude stimuli that people intentionally misreport. Psychophysiology, 47(5), 984-988. DOI:10.1111/j.1469-8986.2010.01002.x

White, K. R., Crites, S. L. Jr., Taylor, J. H., & Corral G. (2009). Wait, what? Assessing stereotype incongruities using the N400 ERP component. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 4, 191-198. DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsp004

Contact Information    


Phone: 1-915-747-6571
Fax: 1-915-747-6553

107 Psychology Building
Department of Psychology
University of Texas at El Paso
El Paso TX, 79968