Wendy Berry Mendes named the Dilley Professor of Psychology

Berry Mendes’ research has transformed our understanding of the relationship between mind and body. She joined Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences on July 1.
Wendy Berry Mendes
Wendy Berry Mendes

Wendy Berry Mendes, whose research has transformed our understanding of the relationship between mind and body, has been appointed the Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Professor of Psychology, effective immediately.

She joined Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), in the Department of Psychology, on July 1.

Mendes came to Yale from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she was the Sarlo/Ekman Professor of Emotion in the Department of Psychiatry. Previously she was the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Psychology at Harvard. She earned a B.A. and M.A. in psychology from California State University, Long Beach, and her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Mendes is a leading researcher of embodiment: that is, how the mind influences the body, and how bodily changes influence thoughts, emotions, and intentions. Her work has shown how emotions are experienced differently across the lifespan, 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. The questions Mendes pursues sit at the intersection of social, personality, and biological psychology, and draw on a range of psychophysiological methods, including autonomic nervous system physiology, neuroendocrinology, and immune responses.

Her current research areas include the study of coping with stigma and discrimination, dyadic intergroup interactions, affect contagion, mind-body relations across the life course, and the effects of stress on decision-making. Her findings have been reported in more than 100 publications in the top journals in the field.

Mendes’s work has been supported by major grants from the National Institute of Aging, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Templeton Foundation, and other funding organizations, as well as by industry partners, including Samsung Research International. Her awards and honors include the Career Trajectory Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and the APS Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions, and she is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the Association of Psychological Science, and the Society of Experimental Social Psychology.

She has given invited or named lectures at the University of Southern California, McGill University, the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford, Columbia, Princeton, and other institutions. In addition, she has served as a panelist for the NIH, the National Science Foundation, and the National Research Council. She is also one of the founding editors-in-chief of Affective Science, and currently serves on the editorial boards for Psychological Bulletin; Journal of Experimental Psychology; the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: PPID and ASC; and Health Psychology Review.

Mendes is also an exceptional teacher and mentor. She was awarded multiple teaching awards at Harvard and UCSF, and she has supervised dozens of undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars. She teaches popular courses on emotion, social psychophysiology, stress and health, and research methods courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

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