Nicole M. Stephens is an Associate Professor of Management and
Organizations at Kellogg School of Management. She received her
Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stanford University and her B.A.
from Williams College. As a social and cultural psychologist, her
research explores the ways in which the social world systematically
influences how people understand themselves and their actions.
Her specific focus is on how social class, race, ethnicity, and
gender shape people’s everyday life experiences, as well as
important life outcomes such as educational attainment and health.
One line of Professor Stephens’s research examines how
experiences in different social class environments affect the ways
in which people understand the choices that they make in their
daily lives. Another line of research investigates how first-
generation college students, from diverse cultural backgrounds,
adjust in response to the mainstream culture of higher education.
Together her research illuminates how seemingly neutral
assumptions about what it means to be a “good,” “normal,”or
“educated” person reflect the culturally-specific perspectives of
majority groups in society, and thereby contribute to social
inequality. The underlying goal of this research is to develop more
diverse and effective schools, workplaces, and communities.
Professor Stephens’s work is published in leading academic journals
such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and
Psychological Science and has been featured in media outlets such
as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, NBC News, and
The Huffington Post.