I am a social psychologist and a postdoctoral researcher at NYU. I graduated from Bates College with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in dance, and I worked as a lab manager at the University of California, San Francisco before attending graduate school. I earned my PhD in psychology, with a major in social psychology and a minor in quantitative psychology, from NYU.

Broadly, I study fundamental processes in interpersonal interactions, with a focus on how people from different social groups communicate with and influence one another. To do so, I study diverse populations around the world in both lab and field settings. I ask questions such as: Do women engage with female peers in ways that differ from how they engage with male peers in math and science? When meeting someone from a different country, how does the knowledge that one’s partner is from a country that is richer or poorer than one’s own shape how quickly people “tune in” to their partners?

I examine questions regarding interpersonal communication and influence, as well as physiological correlates of these processes, by studying face-to-face social interactions. I capture psychological, behavioral, and physiological processes as they naturally unfold over time, and I develop and employ novel analytic techniques and new methods for physiological and behavioral measurement.


Kalichman, S., Shkembi, B., Hernandez, D., Katner, H., & Thorson, K. R. (in press). Income inequality, HIV stigma, and preventing HIV disease progression in rural communities. Prevention Science.

Ketay, S., Welker, K. M., Beck, L. A., Thorson, K. R., & Slatcher, R. B. (in press). Social anxiety, cortisol, and early-stage friendship. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.
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Thorson, K. R., Forbes, C. E., Magerman, A. B., & West, T. V. (2019). Under threat but engaged: Stereotype threat leads women to engage with female but not male partners in math. Contemporary Educational Psychology.
PDF | Supplement | OSF | Video Protocol

Cornelius, T., Meli, L., Thorson, K. R., Chang, B. P, Edmondson, D. E., & West, T. V. (2019). Bringing close others to the emergency department for an acute coronary event is associated with increased patient perception of threat. General Hospital Psychiatry, 56, 42-49.

Thorson, K. R., West, T. V., & Mendes, W. B. (2018). Measuring physiological influence in dyads: A guide to designing, implementing, and analyzing dyadic physiological studies. Psychological Methods, 23(4), 595-616.
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Thorson, K. R., & West, T. V. (2018). Physiological linkage to an interaction partner is negatively associated with stability in sympathetic nervous system responding. Biological Psychology, 138, 91-95.
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Eaton, L.A., Earnshaw, V., Maksut, J. L., Thorson, K. R., Watson, R., & Bauermeister, J. (2018). Experiences of stigma and health care engagement among Black men who have sex with men newly diagnosed with HIV/STI. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 41(4), 458-466.

Thorson, K. R., Lorber, M. F., Slep, A. M. S., & Heyman, R. E. (2018). Adult adiposity linked to relationship hostility for low cortisol reactors. Journal of Family Psychology, 32(2), 197-205.

Human, L. J., Thorson, K. R., Woolley, J. D., & Mendes, W. B. (2017). Combining oxytocin administration and positive emotion inductions: Examining social perception and analytical performance. Hormones and Behavior, 90, 120-128.
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Human, L. J., Thorson, K. R., & Mendes, W. B. (2016). Interactive effects between extraversion and oxytocin administration: Implications for positive social processes. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 7(7), 735-744.


Thorson, K. R., & West, T. V. (in press). Implicit bias in social interactions. In J. Aronson & E. Aronson (Eds.), Readings about the Social Animal, 12th edition.


Thorson, K. R. & West, T. V. Highlighting nationality-based status differences leads to heightened vigilance, more discomfort, and less assertiveness in cross-status international interactions compared to same-status ones. Revise and resubmit at Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
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Thorson, K. R., Mendes, W. B., & West, T. V. Controlling the uncontrolled: Incidental experimenter effects on physiologic reactivity. Revise and resubmit at Psychological Science.
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Thorson, K. R., Dumitru, O. D., Mendes, W. B., & West, T. V. Limitations of status during group decision-making: Status enhances approach behaviors, but leadership and competence are needed to successfully persuade others.
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Dyadic Data Analysis Webinar Series

Webinar 1: Restructuring data from individual format to person period pairwise format
Webinar on YoutubeExample SPSS syntaxExample individual SPSS file
Webinar 2: Lagging variables in SPSS and SAS
Webinar on YouTubeSPSS data fileSPSS syntaxSAS data fileSAS syntax
Webinar 3: Downsampling an IBI series for dyadic data analysis
Webinar on YouTubeScript to resample baselineScript to export baselineScript to resample taskScript to export task
Power analysis for multilevel modeling
Example SAS syntax