Mary Murphy is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Indiana University. She received her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stanford University in 2007, mentored by Claude Steele and Carol Dweck. She was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University from 2007-2009. In 2009, she joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and in 2012, Dr. Murphy moved her lab to Indiana University where she is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.
Broadly speaking, Dr. Murphy’s research focuses on developing and testing theories about how people’s social identities and group memberships interact with the contexts they encounter to affect their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, physiology, and motivation. She currently focuses on three programs of research. One aspect of her research program focuses on how situational cues in academic, organizational, and group environments affect people’s cognition, motivation, performance, and physiology, with an eye toward intervention. Another line of research examines how organizations’ philosophies of intelligence—whether organizations believe that intelligence is a fixed trait, or that it malleable and expandable by hard work and effort—shape the motivation of workers. Her current work in this area examines representations of intelligence and genius in society and measures their effects on people’s creativity, performance, and motivation in various work settings. A third line of research examines situational cues in inter- and intra-racial interactions that affect people’s levels of identity threat, emotional experiences, cognitive performance, and motivation to build friendships.