University of Texas at El Paso
Psychology Department
Michael Zárate    

Dr. Michael Zarate
Personal Information    

Ph.D., Purdue University (1990)


Social Cognition Lab

Curriculum Vitae
Research Interests    

My research focuses on the social cognitive processes that underlie person and group perception, and how those processes lead to prejudice and stereotyping. In my primary line of research, my students and I have been investigating how cerebral asymmetries in perception lead to different types of social representations.  We argue that our perceptual systems are biased to produce independent person and group representations of others.  The factors that favor one system or another predict when people will stereotype others. In a second line of research, we are investigating how a desire for group distinctiveness influences prejudice.  This work addresses long standing issues regarding cultural assimilation and diversity.  Finally, we are developing a new line of research investigating the effects of cigarette smoking on social perception.  All of these research programs have direct applications to intergroup relations along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Sample Publications    

Quezada, S. A., Shaw, M., & Zárate, M. A. (2012). Cultural inertia: The relationship between ethnic identity and reactions to cultural change.  Social Psychology. 43, 243-251. DOI: 10.1027/1864-9335/a000125.

American Psychological Association, Presidential Task Force on Immigration. (2012). Crossroads: The psychology of immigration in the new century. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Rivera, L. O., Arms-Chavez, C. J., & Zárate, M. A. (2012). Hemispheric Resource Availability Influences Face Perception: A Multiple Resource Approach to Social Perception. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, 17, 369-383. DOI:10.1080/1357650X.2011.586700

Zárate, M., Shaw, M., Marquez, J., & Biagas, D. (2012). Cultural inertia: The effects of cultural change on intergroup relations and the self-concept. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 634-645.  DOI:10.1016/j.jesp.2011.12.014

Zárate, M. A., & Quezada, S. (2011). Future directions in Attitudes toward Immigrants." 1-7. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy. DOI:OI: 10.1111/j.1530-2415.2011.01270.x

Shaw, M., Quezada, S. A., & Zárate, M. A. (2011). Violence With a Conscience: Religiosity and Moral Certainty as Predictors of Support for Violent Warfare. Psychology of Violence. 1, 275-286. DOI:10.1037/a0025346

Zárate, M. A., & Shaw, M. P.  (2010).  The Role of Cultural Inertia in Reactions to Immigration on the U.S./Mexico border.  Journal of Social Issues, 66, 45-57. DOI:10.1111/j.1540-4560.2009.01632.x

Rivera, L. O., Arms-Chavez, C. J., & Zárate, M. A. (2009). Resource Dependent Effects During Sex Categorization.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 908-912.  DOI:10.1016/j.jesp.2009.04.023

Zárate, M. A., & Enge, L.  (in press). The role of memory consolidation during sleep in social perception and stereotyping.  Chapter to appear in The Neuroscience of prejudice. N. Ellemers, D. T. Scheepers, & B. Derks (Eds.). Psychology Press.

Contact Information    


Phone: 915-747-6569
Fax: 915-747-6553

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