Jon Freeman is Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University and director of the Social Cognitive & Neural Sciences Lab. He received his Ph.D. from Tufts University and was on the faculty at Dartmouth College before coming to NYU in 2014.
He studies split-second social perception, primarily how we use facial cues to categorize other people into social groups, perceive their emotion, and infer their personality. He treats social perception as fundamentally dynamic, examining how visual processes may be shaped by stereotypes and biases, prior knowledge and beliefs, and other aspects of social cognition. He uses brain and behavior-based techniques to study the interplay of visual and social processes in perceptual and interpersonal decisions, including the roles of specific facial features, social context, and individual differences. He is additionally interested in how initial perceptions influence downstream behavior and real-world outcomes. He takes an integrative and multi-level approach in examining these phenomena, incorporating insights across social psychology and the cognitive, vision, and neural sciences. His studies use a range of methodologies, including functional neuroimaging, real-time behavioral techniques (mouse-tracking), and computational modeling. He is also the developer of the data collection and analysis software, MouseTracker.
Dr. Freeman is the author of over 60 peer-reviewed articles and the recipient of a number of awards, including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Janet T. Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science, the Early Career Award from the Society for Social Neuroscience, the SAGE Young Scholars Award from the Foundation for Personality & Social Psychology, and the Early Career Award from the International Social Cognition Network. His work has appeared in media outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and TIME Magazine.