Dr. Nicholas RuleWelcome to Dr. Nicholas Rule, recently appointed Assistant Professor at St. George Campus (Social Psychology).
Nicholas Rule received his PhD in 2010 from Tufts University in Boston, USA. His research examines questions regarding person perception, focusing largely on information about individuals that can be accurately extracted from their faces. To date, his work has consisted of two key themes:
1. Predicting outcomes from nonverbal and facial cues
In a series of studies, Prof. Rule has found that individuals’ life outcomes can in some cases be predicted from cues in their faces. For example, judgments of personality traits and leadership ability from the faces of CEOs significantly correlate with their success in leading their companies. Prof. Rule has studied this both at macro-levels, such as differences across
cultures, and micro-levels, such as the brain basis for these judgments and perceptions.
2. The study of perceptually ambiguous groups
Most of what is currently known about group processes in social psychology has focused on groups with perceptually obvious markers. Yet there are a great many groups for whom the distinctions are not obvious, but ambiguous. One example is sexual orientation: Although people can tell better than chance guessing who is gay and straight, there is a lot of error in these judgments that provides opportunities for understanding how the mind engages in social categorization, more generally. Thus, Prof. Rule has studied many questions surrounding the phenomenon of detecting whether people belong to various perceptually ambiguous groups (e.g., gay/lesbian and straight; Mormon and non-Mormon) based on minimal cues.