Dr Thora Bjornsdottir

Lecturer in Psychology

Psychology Stirling

Dr Thora Bjornsdottir

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About me

About me

I am interested in person perception and social cognition, with a focus on first impressions from faces.

I received my PhD and MA in Psychology from the University of Toronto, where I worked in the Social Perception and Cognition Lab under the mentorship of Nick Rule. I received my BA in Psychology and German from Cornell University, where I worked in the Implicit Social Cognition Lab with Melissa Ferguson.

After a postdoctoral research position at the University of Glasgow, I was a lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London for three years before coming to Stirling.


I am interested in how people's social group memberships (such as social class, sexual orientation, culture, and nationality) affect social perception. My research specifically aims to understand:

  • how people's faces reflect their social identities and experiences (and how others detect this)
  • how people's group memberships impact their perceptions of others
  • how people mentally represent members of various social groups
  • how we can manipulate people's first impressions
  • the downstream consequences of people's first impressions

For more details and examples of my reseach addressing each of these questions, please see my research page

Outputs (17)




I teach on a variety of social psychological and social cognitive topics, including person perception, stereotyping, prejudice, and inequality.

I teach on the following undergraduate modules: PSYU901 – Introductory Psychology, PSYU9SP – Social Psychology

and MSc modules: PSYPDSS – Development of the Self in the Social World, PRMP131 – Research Methods in Psychology

I also supervise undergraduate and MSc dissertations.

Research centres/groups