picture of dr. marx
David M. Marx, Ph.D

Associate Professor

Department of Psychology
College of Sciences
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr.

San Diego, CA 92182-4611

Office Location: LS 160

Mail Code: 4611
Phone: (619) 594-8708
FAX: (619) 594-1332

Research Interests: My research focuses on several aspects of social cognition including stereotypes, social comparison, and attention. One of my primary lines of research centers on defining and refining stereotype threat. In a related line of work, I examine ways to reduce stereotype threat. Specifically, I examine how the interplay of a collective self-construal orientation and positive ingroup comparisons can “turn off” the negative effects of stereotype threat. My research on social comparison explores how comparisons made in “traditional” and “stereotyped” contexts can lead to different outcomes on perceivers’ behavior and self-evaluations. I also investigate the role of target attributes on the outcome of social comparisons. Finally, I conduct research on how a person’s vocal characteristics capture attention and influence information processing.

Lab: Stereotyping, Education, and Person Perception (STEPP) Lab

Research Keywords: Gender, self and identity, prejudice and stereotyping, stereotype threat, social cognition, and intergroup relations

Curriculum Vitae


B.A., University of California , Berkeley (Social Psychology)
Ph.D., Harvard University (Social Psychology)
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Colorado , Boulder

Selected Research Articles

Marx, D. M., Brown, J. L., & Steele, C. M. (1999). Allport’s legacy and the situational press of stereotypes. Journal of Social Issues (Prejudice and Intergroup Relations: Papers in Honor of Gordon W. Allport’s Centennial), 55 , 491-502.

Marx, D. M., & Roman, J. S. (2002). Female role models: Protecting women’s math test performance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1183-1193.

Marx, D. M., Stapel, D. A., & Muller, D. (2005). We can do it: The interplay of a collective self-construal orientation and social comparisons under threat Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88 , 432-446.

Marx, D. M., & Goff, P. A. (2005). Clearing the air: The effect of experimenter race on targets’ test performance and subjective experience. British Journal of Social Psychology, 44, 645-657.

Marx, D. M., & Stapel, D. A. (2006). Understanding stereotype lift: On the role of the social self. Social Cognition, 24, 777-792.

Marx, D. M. & Stapel, D. A. (2006). It depends on your perspective: The role of self-relevance in stereotype-based underperformance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 768-775.

Marx, D. M. (2009). On the role of group membership in stereotype-based performance effects. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 3, 77-93.

Marx, D. M., Ko, S. J., & Friedman, R. A. (2009). The “Obama effect”: How a salient role model reduces race-based performance differences. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 953-956.

Marx, D. M., & Ko, S. J. (2011). Refocusing or recycling?: The stereotype inoculation model and its relationship with research on ingroup role models. Psychological Inquiry, 22, 280-284.

Marx, D. M., & Ko, S. J. (2012). Superstars “like” me: The effect of role model similarity on performance under threat. European Journal of Social Psychology, 42, 807-812.

Lelkes, Y., Krosnick, J. A., Marx, D. M., Judd, C. M., & Park, B. (2012). Complete anonymity compromises the accuracy of self-reports. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology48, 1291–1299.

Marx, D. M., Monroe, A. H., Cole, C. E., & Gilbert, P. N. (2013). No doubt about it: The effect of role model doubt on male’s and female’s math performance under threat.Journal of Social Psychology, 153, 542-559.

Shaffer, E. S., Marx, D. M., & Prislin, R. (2013). Mind the gap: Framing of women’s success and representation in STEM affects women’s math performance under threat. Sex Roles, 68, 454-463.

Murray, K. E., & Marx, D. M. (2013). Attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants, authorized immigrants, and refugees. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology,19, 332-341.