Avi Ben-Zeev

I am curious about the intimate link between how basic categorization processes affect stereotyping and discrimination and how the memory system distorts allegedly diagnostic racial and gender features in the service of stereotype maintenance, such that an “educated” Black man becomes lighter in the mind’s eye.

One of my main research foci over the past several years has also been on understanding, in part, the failure of large groups of individuals to perform to their potential, such as women in math and science. These stereotype threat studies have been designed to identify a set of contextual factors that might profoundly affect the performance of devalued group members, pointing to the power that social context has in creating, perpetuating, or eliminating stereotyped individuals’ underperformance.

I received my Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Yale University in 1997 and have taught and conducted research at Brown University and at Williams College before joining the faculty at San Francisco State University (SFSU) in 2001. It is my great privilege to be a tenured professor at an institution that thrives on diversity. Teaching students who are often first in their families to go to college is intimately tied with my own academic journey and with my research interests.  It is at SFSU that I have arrived home.


Office: EP327

P: 415.405.2107

E: abenzeev@sfsu.edu