|UC San Diego
Pamela K. Smith’s area of expertise is social power, particularly from a social cognition standpoint. Her research focuses on power: the degree to which one person has more control over valued resources than another. Smith’s areas of interest are the effect of power on people’s thinking, motivation, and behavior, and the subtle signals and signs people use to determine how much power they and others have. This work is strongly influenced by her fundamental interest in nonconscious processes more generally. In particular, she studies how individuals’ sense of their own and others’ power affects even processes below the level of awareness. Her work highlights how the inherently social construct of power has a multitude of internal psychological effects. Thus, throughout her research Smith studies the interplay between interpersonal and intrapersonal phenomena.