Wendy Berry Mendes, PhD

PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara
Sarlo/Ekman Endowed Chair in the Study of Human Emotion
Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Phone: (415) 476-7409
Fax: (415) 476-7744
E-mail: [email protected]


Research Interests:

My research focuses on embodiment -- how the mind influences the body, and the reciprocal, how bodily changes influence thoughts, emotions, and intentions. Some of the current research examines how emotions are experienced differently along the developmental trajectory, how aging influences risk perceptions and risk taking, how decisions are influenced by acute and chronic stress, and how people manage and attempt to control their racial biases and how those regulatory attempts often fail revealing greater racial bias.

Selected Publications: (* indicates graduate student or post-doctoral trainee; ** indicates undergraduate advisee).

1. Blascovich, J., Mendes, W. B., Hunter, S. & Salomon, K. (1999). Social facilitation as challenge and threat. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 68-77.

2. Mendes, W. B., Blascovich, J., Major, B. & Seery, M. D. (2001). Challenge and threat responses during downward and upward social comparisons, European Journal of Social Psychology, 31, 477-497.

3. Blascovich, J., Mendes, W. B., Hunter, S., Lickel, B., & Kowai-Bell, N. (2001). Perceiver threat in social interactions with stigmatized others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 253-267.

4. Mendes, W. B., Blascovich, J., Lickel, B., & Hunter, S. (2002). Challenge and threat during social interactions with White and Black men. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 939-952.

5. Allen, K., Blascovich, J., & Mendes, W. B. (2002). Cardiovascular reactivity and the presence of pets, friends, and spouses: The truth about cats and dogs. Psychosomatic Medicine, 64, 727-739.

6. Mendes, W. B., Reis, H., Seery, M.D., & Blascovich, J. (2003). Cardiovascular correlates of emotional expression and suppression: Do content and gender context matter? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 771-792.

7. Blascovich, J., Mendes, W. B., Tomaka, J., Salomon, K., & Seery, M.D. (2003). The robust nature of the biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat: A reply to Wright and Kirby. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 7, 234-243.

8. Weisbuch-Remington, M., Mendes, W. B., Seery, M D., & Blascovich, J. (2005). The nonconscious influence of religious symbols in motivated performance situations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 1203-1216.

9. Epel, E. S., Lin, J., Wilhelm, F., Wolkowitz, O. M., Cawthon, R., Adler, N., Dolbier, C., Mendes, W. B. & Blackburn, E. H. (2006). Cell aging in relation to stress arousal and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 31, 277-287.

10. Mendes, W. B., Blascovich, J., Hunter, S., Lickel, B., & Jost, J. (2007). Threatened by the unexpected: Physiological responses during social interactions with expectancy-violating partners. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 698-716. (Winner of the Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize for 2007. Reprinted in: Kawakami, K. (2014). The Psychology of Prejudice. Sage Publications: New York: NY.

11. Mendes, W. B., *Gray, H., Mendoza-Denton, R., Major, B. & Epel, E. (2007). Why egalitarianism might be good for your health: Physiological thriving during stressful intergroup encounters. Psychological Science, 18, 991-998.

12. Nock, M. K. & Mendes, W. B. (2008). Physiological arousal, distress tolerance, and social problem-solving deficits among adolescent self-injurers. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76, 28-38.

13. Gramzow, R., *Willard, G., & Mendes, W. B. (2008). Big tales and cool heads: Academic exaggeration is related to cardiac vagal reactivity. Emotion, 8, 138-144.

14. Mendes, W. B., Major, B., McCoy, S., & Blascovich, J. (2008). How attributional ambiguity shapes physiological and emotional responses to social rejection and acceptance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 278-291.

15. *Gray, H., Mendes, W. B., **Denny-Brown, C. (2008). An in-group advantage in detecting intergroup anxiety. Psychological Science, 19, 1233-1237.

16. *Akinola, M. & Mendes, W. B. (2008). The dark side of creativity: Biological vulnerability and negative emotions lead to greater artistic creativity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 1677-1686. (Winner of the SPSP best graduate student authored paper award 2008),

17. *Navarrete, C. D., Olsson A., *Ho, A., Mendes, W. B., *Thomsen, L. & Sidanius, J. (2009). Fear extinction to an out-group face: The role of target gender. Psychological Science, 20, 155-158.

18. Schmader, T., Forbes, C. E., Zhang, S., & Mendes, W. B. (2009). A meta-cognitive perspective on the cognitive deficits experienced in intellectually threatening environments. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 584-596.

19. *Kassam, K., *Koslov, K., & Mendes, W. B. (2009). Decisions under distress: Stress profiles influence anchoring and adjustment. Psychological Science, 20, 1394-1399.

20. Kubzansky, L. D., Mendes, W. B., Appleton, A., Block, J. & Adler, G. (2009). Protocol for an experimental investigation of the roles of oxytocin and social support in neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, and subjective responses to stress across age and gender, BMC Public Health, 9, 481, 1-17.

21. *Eliezer, D., Major, B., & Mendes, W. B. (2010). The costs of caring: Gender identification increases threat following exposure to sexism. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 159-165.

22. *Waugh, C. E., Panage, S., Mendes, W. B., & Gotlib, I. H. (2010). Cardiovascular and affective recovery from anticipatory threat. Biological Psychology, 84, 169-175.

23. *Jamieson, J., Mendes, W. B., **Blackstock, E. & Schmader, T. (2010). Turning the knots in your stomach into bows: Reappraising arousal improves performance on the GRE. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 208-212.

24. Mendes, W. B. (2010). Weakened links between mind and body in older age: The case for maturational dualism in the experience of emotion. Emotion Review, 2, 240-244.

25. *Page-Gould, E., Mendes, W. B., & Major, B. (2010). Intergroup contact facilitates physiological recovery following stressful intergroup interactions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 854-858.

26. *Townsend, S., Major, B.,*Sawyer, P., & Mendes, W. B. (2010). Can the absence of prejudice be more threatening than its presence? It depends on one’s worldview. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 933-947.

27. *Koslov, K., Mendes, W. B., **Patjas, P., & Pizzagalli, D. A. (2011). Asymmetry in resting intracortical activity as a buffer to social threat. Psychological Science, 22, 641-649.

28. *Eliezer, D., *Townsend, S. M., *Sawyer, P. J., Major, B., & Mendes, W. B. (2011). System justifying beliefs moderate the relationship between perceived discrimination and resting blood pressure. Social Cognition, 29, 303-321.

29. *Townsend, S. M., *Gangi, C., Major, B., & Mendes, W. B. (2011). From “in the air” to “under the skin”: Cortisol responses to social identity threat. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 151-164.

30. *Cushman, F., *Gray, K., **Gaffey, A., & Mendes, W. B. (2012). Simulating murder: The aversion to harming others. Emotion, 12, 2 - 7.

31. *Akinola, M. & Mendes, W. B. (2012). Stress-induced cortisol facilitates threat-related decision making among police officers. Behavioral Neuroscience, 126, 167-174.

32. *Jamieson, J. P., Nock, M. K., & Mendes, W. B. (2012). Mind over matter: Reappraising arousal improves cardiovascular and cognitive responses to stress. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141, 417-422.

33. Schmader, T., Croft, A., Scarnier, M., Lickel, B., & Mendes, W. B. (2012). Not in mixed company: Emotional reactions to observed prejudice. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 15, 379-392.

34. *Sawyer, P., Major, B., *Casad, B. J., *Townsend, S., & Mendes, W. B. (2012). Discrimination and the stress response: Psychological and physiological consequences of anticipating prejudice in interracial interaction. American Journal of Public Health, 102, 1020-1026.

35. Kubzansky, L. D., Mendes, W. B., Appelton, A., Block, J., & Adler, G. K. (2012). A heartfelt response: Oxytocin and social stress. Biological Psychology, 90, 1-9.

36. *Jamieson, J.P., *Koslov, K., Nock, M.K., & Mendes, W. B. (2013). Experiencing discrimination increases risk-taking. Psychological Science, 24, 131-139.

37. Epel, E. S., Puterman, E., Lin, J., Blackburn, E., & Mendes, W. B. (2013). Wandering minds and aging cells. Clinical Psychological Science, 1, 75-83.

38. *Jamieson, J. P., Mendes, W. B., & Nock, M. K. (2013). Improving stress responses: The power of reappraisals. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22, 51-56.

39. Major, B., Mendes, W. B. & Dovidio, J. (2013). Intergroup relations and health disparities: A social psychological perspective. Health Psychology, 32, 514-524.

40. *Jamieson, J. P., Mendes, W. B., & Nock, M. K. (2013). Changing the conceptualization of stress in social anxiety disorder: Affective and physiological consequences. Clinical Psychological Science, 1, 363-374.

41. *Kassam, K. S. & Mendes, W. B. (2013). The effects of measuring emotion: Physiological reactions to emotional situations depend on whether someone is asking. PLoS ONE, 8, e64959.

42. Mendes, W. B. & *Koslov, K. (2013). Brittle smiles: Positive biases towards stigmatized and outgroup targets. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 142, 923-933.

43. Ayduk, O., Gyurak, A., *Akinola, M., & Mendes, W. B. (2013). Consistency over flattery: Self-verification processes revealed in implicit and behavioral responses to feedback. Social and Personality Psychological Science 4, 538-545.

44. *Shenhav, A. & Mendes, W. B. (2014). Aiming for the stomach and hitting the heart: Dissociable triggers and sources for disgust reactions. Emotion, 14, 301-309.

45. *Akinola, M. & Mendes, W. B. (2014). It’s good to be the king: Neurobiological benefits of higher social standing. Social and Personality Psychological Science, 5, 43-51.

46. *Page-Gould, E., Mendoza-Denton, R. & Mendes, W. B. (2014). Stress and coping in interracial contexts: The influence of race-based rejection sensitivity and cross-group friendship in daily experiences of health. Journal of Social Issues, 70, 256-278.

47. *Townsend, S.S.M., Major, B., *Eliezer, D. & Mendes, W. B. (2014). Influencing the world versus adjusting to constraints: Social class moderates responses to discrimination. Social and Personality Psychological Science, 5, 226-234.

48. *Waters, S. F., West, T., & Mendes, W. B. (2014). Stress contagion: Physiological covariation between mothers and infants. Psychological Science, 25, 934-942.

49. *McLaughlin, K. A., *Sheridan, M. A., **Alves, S., & Mendes, W. B. (2014). Child maltreatment and autonomic nervous system reactivity to psychosocial stress: Identifying dysregulated stress reactivity patterns using the biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat. Psychosomatic Medicine, 76, 538-546.

50. *Kraus, M. W. & Mendes, W. B. (2014). Sartorial symbols: Cues of social class elicit congruent behavioral and physiological responses. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143, 2330-2340.

51. *Muhtadie, L., *Koslov, K., *Akinola M., & Mendes, W. B. (2015). Vagal flexibility: A physiological predictor of social sensitivity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 109, 106-120.

52. Schmader, T. & Mendes, W. B. (2015). Putting feelings in a social context: Three case studies applying Gross’s extended model of emotion regulation. Psychological Inquiry, 26, 116-122.

53. Mendes, W. B. (2016). Looking for affective meaning in “multiple arousal” theory: A comment to Picard, Fedor, & Ayzenberg. Emotion Review, 8, 77-79.

54. Major, B., Kunstman, J. W., Malta, B. D., *Sawyer, P. J., *Townsend, S. S. M., & Mendes, W. B. (2016). Why are you saying that? Suspicion of whites’ motives and minority responses to positive feedback. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 62, 75-88.

55. Aschbacher, K., Derakhshandeh, R. **Flores, H., Narayan, S., Mendes, W. B., & Springer, M.L. (2016). Circulating angiogenic cell function is inhibited in vitro and associated with psychological stress and cortisol in vivo. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 67, 216-233.

56. *Jamieson, J. P. & Mendes, W. B. (2016). Social stress facilitates risk in youths. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 145, 467-485.

57. *Human, L.J, **Thorson, K. R., & Mendes, W. B. (2016). Interactive effects between extraversion and oxytocin administration: Implications for positive social processes. Social and Personality Psychological Science, 7, 735-744.

58. *Waters, S. F. & Mendes, W. B. (2016). Physiological and relational predictors of mother-infant behavioral coordination. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology. doi:10.1007/s40750-016-0045-9

59. *Hagan, M. J., Bush, N., Mendes, W. B., Arenander, J., Cohodes, E., Epel, E. S., & Puterman, E. (in press). Childhood adversity is related to daily coping strategies among those who are sensitive to context. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping.