She adopts a dynamic and theory-driven approach to understand the unique and interactive effects of informational characteristics (e.g., consistency of actions), actor characteristics (e.g., group membership), and perceiver characteristics (e.g., political ideology, the personal need for structure) in impression formation and change. Her work aims to shed light on the processes of stereotype construction in interpersonal and intergroup interactions.
Her postdoctoral research disentangles the phenomenon of Paradoxical Knowing, namely, a strong conviction that one knows what is “unknowable” to the world or others. What are the psychological mechanisms driving paradoxical forms of knowledge? What are the social consequences of this short-cut to knowledge?
Irmak Olcaysoy Okten is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Florida State University and the director of the Motivated Social Cognition Lab. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Lehigh University. She earned her B.A. in Political Science and International Relations and M.A. in Social Psychology from Bogazici University. She is a first-generation college graduate.
Olcaysoy Okten's research investigates social cognitive and motivational processes underlying person-perception and interpersonal interactions.
Her work on person perception examines how people form and change their first impressions of others. What kind of characteristics people intentionally and unintentionally (i.e. spontaneously) infer from others' behaviors? When do they change their intentional and unintentional impressions?