Kenneth Michniewicz, Ph.D.


Associate Professor
Social psychology
Moyer 223
[email protected]
Fax: 484-664-5627




B.S., University of Central Florida
M.A., Ph.D., University of South Florida

Dr. Michniewicz joined the department in 2015 and teaches Introductory, Social, and Personality Psychology as well as Group Processes and Advanced Research.

I have two main research areas. The first broadly explores the social consequences of the perception of manhood as a precarious social status. In a world striving to overcome explicit and implicit biases against women, understanding how gender stereotypes guide people?s behaviors and inform their related beliefs is crucial. Emerging research suggests that people implicitly believe that men must earn and defend their gender status through enacting stereotypically masculine behaviors (e.g., taking dangerous risks or physical aggression) or possessing stereotypically masculine qualities (e.g., possessing physical strength or bravery). I am specifically interested in the broad and sometimes non-intuitive consequences of this belief. My research specifically suggests that investing in the notion of precarious manhood can reinforce beliefs in traditional gender stereotypes, predict lower psychological well-being for men, and promote a willingness by others to excuse men?s sexism. By investigating this obtuse side of gender stereotyping, we may yet develop a more complete understanding of these phenomena.

My second area of research involves exploring how disadvantaged status can morally license otherwise immoral behaviors. While being disadvantaged objectively costs an individual or group through penalties such as prejudice or discrimination, disadvantaged status in conflict can also encourage sympathy and support from others. My research interests involve not only other beliefs by observers about these individuals or groups which emerge as a result, but also how people subsequently judge the morality of a disadvantaged entity?s behaviors. Given the rapidly growing media coverage of global and local conflicts, understanding the way people perceive the relative power and status of competing groups can be largely influential in understanding a wide variety of reactions to these groups.

Recent Publications

Michniewicz, K. S., & Vandello, J. A. (2015, June 15). People judge male sexism more leniently when women emasculate men. Social Psychology. Advance online publication.  

 Michniewicz, K.S., Vandello, J.A., & Bosson, J.K. (2014). Men's (mis)perceptions of the gender-threatening consequences of unemployment. Sex Roles, 105(3), 425-42. doi: 10.1007/s11199-013-0339-3

Bosson, J.K., & Michniewicz, K.S. (2013). Gender Dichotomization at the Level of Group Identity: Why Men Use It More than Women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105(3), 425-42. doi: 10.1037/a0033126.

Michniewicz, K.S., & Vandello, J.A. (2013). The Attractive Underdog: When Disadvantage Bolsters Attractiveness. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 30, 945-952. doi: 10.1177/0265407513477629