Nicholas M. Michalak

Ph.D. Candidate, Social Psychology

Department of Psychology, University of Michigan


I’m a PhD candidate in social psychology working with Josh Ackerman at the University of Michigan. Broadly, I use advanced methods and statistics to study how both modern and evolutionarily-relevant threats affect how people perceive themselves and others. For example, in my current work, I use the reverse correlation image classification task to estimate mental representations of infected persons. I’m also conducting a Cross-Temporal Meta-Analysis to test whether stereotype threat effects have dissapated over time, depending on negatively stereotyped group (e.g., Women, Black Americans).

I’m asking three main questions right now: (1) How do people mentally represent threatening persons, (2) How do people use emotional expressions in trait judgements, and (3) What are the effects of negative stereotypes changing over time?


  • Person Perception
  • Nonverbal
  • Threat
  • Evolution


  • M.S. in Social Psychology, 2017

    University of Michigan

  • B.S. in Neuroscience, 2012

    University of St. Thomas (MN)


Experimental Design



Machine Learning





Recent Publications


SPSS for Research

OSF page storing materials used for Undergraduate Research Opportuntiies Program (UROP) workshops conducted at the University of …

R Programming for Psychology Research

OSF page storing materials used for workshops conducted at the University of Michigan

2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Polling Averages

R Shiny Application and GitHub repository for 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Polling Averages

Blog Posts

Learning Python as an R user

Logistic Regression in R

Introduction In this post, I’ll introduce the logistic regression model in a semi-formal, fancy way. Then, I’ll generate data from some …

Presidential primary candidate name recognition matters

Key takeaway FiveThirtyEight claims that early national primary polls can become more useful for predicting party nomination success if …

Testing Conditional Indirect Effects/Mediation in R

This post builds on a previous post on Testing Indirect Effects/Mediation in R. What is mediation? There are many ways to define …

Using Principal Components or Common Factor Analysis in Social Psychology

Multidimensional Scaling, the precursor to Principal Components Analysis, Common Factor Analysis, and related techniques …