goff's picture
Phillip Atiba Goff
Associate Professor
Ph. D.,
Stanford University
Primary Area:
Social Psychology
4552B FH
(310) 206-8614 (staff office)
Research and Teaching Interests:

    The latter part of the 20th century saw an impressive decline in the overt expression of racial animosity towards non-Whites.  This decline, however, was largely unaccompanied by a reduction in racial inequality.  The seeming disconnect between racial attitudes and racial outcomes has troubled contemporary social scientists who had long assumed that individual-level racism accounted for racial disparities.  Popular explanations for this disconnect often suggest that individual-level racism has merely "gone underground," having become less popular to voice, but just as prevalent--and just as responsible for racial inequality.

    My research investigates the possibility that contextual explanations play an under-explored role in producing racial inequality.  Rather than focusing on racial attitudes that are internal to an individual, my research examines ways in which environmental factors can produce racially disparate outcomes.  Through this research I hope to expand the scope of what comes to mind when one thinks of the causes and consequences of inequality.

    Though race is central to my research agenda, I am also interested in identity-based inequality across multiple domains including gender, sexuality, class, and ableness.  My empirical research can be roughly divided into 4 areas:

  1. Research on Dominant Group Identity (e.g. Whites and males)
  2. Research on Mental Representations of Stigmatized Groups (e.g. Non-Whites and women)
  3. Research on Intersectional Identities (e.g. examining race and gender simultaneously)
  4. Research on Policing and Criminal Justice (e.g. all of the above)

    My work on equity issues in policing has led to formation of the Center for Policing Equity.  Along with Captain Tracie L. Keesee, I am the co-founder and President.


    Phillip Atiba Goff was born in Philadelphia, PA, and raised in the nearby suburbs.  He concentrated in Afro-American Studies at Harvard University and studied Social Psychology at Stanford University before taking his first appointment at The Pennsylvania State University.  While there, Dr. Goff created the Africana Research Center's Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program and coordinated it for 2 years before leaving.  His research has led him to become an expert in race, policing, and intersectional identity. In that capacity, Dr. Goff has been recruited as an equity researcher and consultant for police departments around the country, a role he continues to play enthusiastically.  Later in his career, Dr. Goff hopes to teach a course on the intersections of Allen Iverson, Prince, and Sonia Sanchez.

Representative Publications:

Goff, P. A., Thomas, M. A., & Jackson, M. C. (2008). “Ain’t I a woman”: Towards an intersectional approach to person perception and group-based harms.  Sex Roles, 59, 392-403

Goff, P. A., Eberhardt, J. L., Williams, M., & Jackson, M. C. (2008). Not yet human:  Implicit knowledge, historical dehumanization, and contemporary consequences.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 292-306. [Honorable Mention: Gordon W. Allport Award for Intergroup Relations].

Goff, P. A., Steele, C. M., & Davies, P. G. (2008).  The space between us: Stereotype threat and distance in interracial contexts.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 91-107.

Lowery, B. S., Unzueta, M., Knowles, E. D., & Goff, P. A. (2006). Concern for the in-group and opposition to Affirmative Action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 961-974.

Eberhardt, J.L. & Goff, P .A. (2005). Seeing race, In  Crandall, C.S. & Schaller, M. (Eds.) Social psychology of prejudice: Historical and contemporary issues. (pp. 163-183). Seattle, WA: Lewinian Press.

Eberhardt, J. L., Goff, P. A., Purdie, V. J., & Davies, P. G. (2004).  Seeing black: Race, representation, and visual perception.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 876-893.

Popular Writing & Recent Media Mentions
Little Things are Still a Big Deal
Make Real Racial Progress

New York Times:
Racism Without Racists

Denver Post:
A Welcome Review of Potential Police Bias
Review Probes Denver Police Bias
Race . . . and the Vote

Diverse Issues in Higher Education:
Denver Police Bring in UCLA Expert on Racism

Rocky Mountain News:
Police, Psychologist Partner in Bias Study

San Jose Mercury News:
New Programs Being Tested to Find Hidden Bias in Police Work

Hartford Courant:
"Unconscious Racism" and its Impact on Election Day is Difficult to Predict

Toronto Star:
Soft Bigotry and the Vote

WBUR: Here and Now with Robin Young:
Here & Now Interview with Robin Young

Studies Expose ‘Apelike' Stereotype Among Whites
You Can't Keep That Simian Stereotype Down

LeBron Kong Attacks!

New Scientist:
Racial Stereotyping Persists in 'Non-Racists'

Science Daily:
Discrimination Against Blacks Linked To Dehumanization

Make it Plain with Mark Thompson (Sirius Radio)

BBC World Radio

Colourful Radio (UK)