I study how early social experiences influence infants and children’s perception of people based on gender, race, and attractiveness. My research provides insight on the development of biases and how people process information about others.
Jennifer Rennels' research focuses on face perception/processing and development of appearance-based biases (e.g., positive and negative evaluations based on masculinity/femininity, attractiveness, sex, and race). She examines the cues individuals attend to when perceiving faces, how facial appearance impacts judgments about an individual, and how individual differences and situational factors influence perception and processing. In related work, she investigates the origins of biases, why biases are maintained, and the consequences of biases. Her research primarily involves working with infants so as to understand rudiments of face processing abilities and biases, but she also includes older children and adults in her research to study developmental trajectories and developmental differences in face perception and processing.
Dr. Rennels received her Ph.D. in psychology (developmental emphasis) from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003.