David Hamilton

David Hamilton

Distinguished Professor Emeritus / Research Professor

Advisor Status:
Not accepting graduate applications

Research Area

Social Psychology


David L. Hamilton received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, and then was on the faculty at Yale University for eight years before moving to UCSB. He has published extensively on topics in social perception, including stereotyping, impression formation, person memory, and perceptions of groups. He has served on numerous committees in professional organizations, including the Executive Committees of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology and the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and for 25 years was co-organizer of the annual Person Memory Interest Group meetings. He has been associate editor of two journals and has served on several editorial boards. He received the MERIT Award from the National Institute of Mental Health in 1987. He has been awarded honorary degrees from two European universities, the University of Lisbon, Portugal (1997) and Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary (2000). Also, in 2000 he received the Thomas M. Ostrom Award, presented by the Person Memory Interest Group, for "outstanding contributions to social cognition," and in 2008 received the Jean-Claude Codol Award from the European Association of Social Psychology for "contributions to the advancement of social psychology in Europe." In 2014 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, Gettysburg College.


Dr. Hamilton's research focuses on a variety of issues pertaining to the perception of individuals and groups. His work investigates how perceivers process and use social information as they form impressions of others, develop conceptions of groups, and make judgments about individual and group targets. His research is particularly focused on perceptions of the "groupness" of groups, or entitativity, on inference processes in developing conceptions of persons and groups, and on the relation of these processes to the formation and use of group stereotypes.

Selected Publications

Hamilton, D.L., & Stroessner, S.J. (In preparaton).  Social Cognition: Understanding People and Events.  Sage.

Chen, J.M., Pauker, K., Gaither, S.E., Hamilton, D.L., & Sherman, J.W. (2018). Black + White = Not White: A minority bias in categorization of Black-White multiracials.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 78, 43-54.

Chen, J.M., & Hamilton, D.L. (2015). Understanding diversity: The importance of social acceptance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41, 586-598.

Hamilton, D.L., Chen, J.M., Ko, D., Winczewski, L., Banerji, I., & Thurston, J. A. (2015). Sowing the seeds of stereotypes: Spontaneous inferences about groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 109, 569-588.

Hamilton, D.L., Sherman, S.J., Way, N., & Percy, E.  (2014). Convergence and divergence in perceptions of persons and groups.  In M. Mikulincer, P. R. Shaver (Eds.),  J. F. Dovidio, & Simpson, J. A. (Assoc. Eds.), APA handbook of personality and social psychology: Vol. 2. Group processes (pp. 229-261). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Hamilton, D. L., & Carlston, D. E.  (2013). The emergence of social cognition.  In D. E. Carlston (Ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Social Cognition (pp. 16-32). New York, NY:  Oxford University Press.

Garcia-Marques, L., Garrido, M.V., Hamilton, D.L., & Ferreira, M.B. (2012). Effects of correspondence between encoding and retrieval organization in social memory.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 200-206. 

Chen, J.M., & Hamilton, D.L.  (2012). Natural ambiguities: Racial categorization of multiracial individuals. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 152-164.

Hamilton, D.L., Sherman, S.J., Crump, S. A., & Spencer-Rodgers, J. (2009). The role of entitativity in stereotyping: Processes and parameters.  In T. D. Nelson (Ed.), Handbook of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination (pp. 179-198). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Hamilton, D. L., Levine, J. M., & Thurston, J. A. (2008).  Perceiving continuity and change in groups.  In F. Sani (Ed.), Self continuity: Individual and collective perspectives (pp. 117-130). Mahwah, NJ:  Erlbaum.

Spencer-Rodgers, J., Hamilton, D. L., & Sherman, S. J.  (2007). The central role of entitativity in stereotypes of social categories and task groups.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 369-388.

Hamilton, D.L. (2007).  Understanding the complexities of group perception: Broadening the domain.  (Invited Agenda 2007 article.)  European Journal of Social Psychology, 37, 1077-1101.

Hamilton, D. L., Sherman, S. J., & Rodgers, J. (2004).  Perceiving the groupness of groups: Entitativity, homogeneity, essentialism, and stereotypes.  In V. Yzerbyt, C. M. Judd, & O. Corneille (Eds.), The psychology of group perception: Perceived variability, entitativity and essentialism (pp. 39-60). Philadelphia, PA:  Psychology Press.

Hamilton, D. L., & Garcia-Marques, L. (2003).  Effects of expectancies on the representation, retrieval, and use of social information.  In G. V. Bodenhausen & A. J. Lambert (Eds.), Foundations of social cognition: A Festschrift in honor of Robert S. Wyer, Jr. (pp. 25-50).  Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Crawford, M. T., Sherman, S. J., & Hamilton, D. L. (2002). Perceived entitativity, stereotype formation, and the interchangeability of group members.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 1076-1094.

Sherman, S. J., Castelli, L., & Hamilton, D. L. (2002). The spontaneous use of a group typology as an organizing principle in memory.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 328-342.