Steve Crites

Mike Loya Academic Services Building
El Paso Texas, 79968
Phone Logo(915) 747-6571


Steve L Crites
Professor, Psychology
Dean, Graduate School

Dr. Crites' research focuses on the physiological and motivational processes that are associated with, and influence, cognitive processes and judgments. Research in his lab examines electrical brain activity (EEG) when people make like-dislike judgments (attitudes) or activate memories about categories of people (stereotypes). Attitudes are evaluative (like-dislike) judgments that help guide behavior – people use attitudes to decide with whom to associate, what foods to eat, what TV shows to watch, et cetera. Stereotypes are memory structures that help us understand and prepare for social interactions (especially with people we do not know well). Electrical brain activity that occurs when people see another person (or food, object, etc.) can be used to examine issues such as: how quickly we activate attitudes, do stereotypes activate automatically when we see a person, and how are attitudes influenced by emotions, moods and motivation states (e.g., how do food attitudes change when people are hungry). An objective of this research is to understand how the brain makes judgments and how it adjusts these judgments based on other relevant information when needed. Some research also explores whether brain activity can be used to assess a person's attitude even if they lie about it.


  1. Attitudes
  2. Stereotypes
  3. Person perception
  4. Social Neuroscience
  5. Graduate education