Professional Information

Submitted by Megan K. McCarty on Thursday, 8/3/2017, at 3:52 PM


Ph.D., Purdue University (2015)

M.S., Purdue University (2011)

B.A., Bowdoin College (2009)

Teaching Interests

I enjoy working with students in the classroom and lab, and these experiences have been key in motivating my academic career. My teaching interests are broad, including a number of general psychology courses designed to build scientific literacy (introduction to psychology, statistics, research methods), and a variety of more specific courses related to social psychology and diversity (social psychology, psychology of gender, stereotyping and prejudice, human sexuality). In general, my goals as an instructor are to foster critical thinking skills and challenge students to apply psychological concepts and research to their own everyday lives. I believe these skills facilitate success in a variety of contexts, and empower students to be effective consumers of research regardless of their ultimate career goals.

Research Interests

Broadly, my research is motivated by a desire to understand processes that allow us to have positive and productive group interactions without feeling pigeon-holed by our social identities. Thus, my research has its roots in both the diversity and intergroup literatures (with a particular focus on the psychology of gender) and the intragroup literature (small group dynamics). I have published in both of these domains and continue to do so.  My research on the psychology of gender concerns the ways in which violating gender stereotypes affect individuals’ own cognitions, emotions, and behavior, as well as the reactions of others. My small group research focuses on the effects of exclusion and affect.

Much of my current research integrates these areas to explore how small group processes can perpetuate stereotypes and group differences. In general, my work demonstrates that group processes such as exclusion and group-fit are key forces that discourage participation in gender counter-stereotypic activities, such as women’s interest in both leadership positions and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). I am increasingly interested in issues of diversity broadly, and I have ongoing projects investigating group processes that are barriers to equality with regard to non-binary gender identifications, sexuality, and race. 

Diversity Issues in Groups (DIG) Lab

The Diversity Issues in Groups (DIG) Lab conducts work that focuses on the lines of research described above. Ongoing projects examine the psychology of gender, small group dynamics, and how group processes can perpetuate stereotypes and the segregation of groups across different roles. Current projects examine race and sexuality in addition to gender. We conduct lab studies, field studies, and online research. Undergraduate students are involved in all steps of the research projects: from research ethics and design to data collection, data analysis and the publication process. If you are interested in joining the lab, please email me at for an application and additional information. 

Selected Publications

McCarty, M. K., Iannone, N. E., & Kelly, J. R. (2014). Stranger danger: The role of perpetrator and context in moderating reactions to sexual harassment. Sexuality & Culture, 18, 739-758.

McCarty, M. K., Kelly, J. R., & Williams, K. D. (2014). The cognitive costs of the counter-stereotypic: Gender, social presence, and emotion. The Journal of Social Psychology, 154, 447-462.

McCarty, M. K., Monteith, M. J., & Kaiser, C. R. (2014). Communally constrained decisions in workplace contexts. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 55,175-187.

Iannone, N. E., McCarty, M. K., Kelly, J. R., & Williams, K. D. (2014). Friends with each other but strangers to you: Source relationship softens ostracism’s blow. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 18, 349-356.

McCarty, M. K., & Kelly, J. R. (2015). When door holding harms: Gender and the consequences of non-normative help. Social Influence, 10, 1-10.

McCarty, M. K., & Kelly, J. R. (2015). Perceptions of dating behavior: The role of ambivalent sexism. Sex Roles, 72, 237-251.

Carlston, D. E., McCall, T. C., McCarty, M. K., & Tay, L. (2015). On being judged by the company you keep: When associates' behaviors lead to misremembering, discounting and transference. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 60, 173-182.

Kelly, J. R., Iannone, N. E., & McCarty, M. K. (2015). Emotional contagion of negative emotions is automatic: An evolutionary explanation. British Journal of Social Psychology, 55, 182-191. 

Iannone, N. E., McCarty, M. K., & Kelly, J. R. (in press). Getting by with a little help from your friend: Transactive memory systems in best friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 

McCarty, M. K., Iannone, N. E., Jones, E. E., & Kelly, J. R. (in press). Ignorance can be bliss: The role of valence in moderating the effects of being in the loop. The Journal of Social Psychology.