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Chujun Lin, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar in Psychology, Dartmouth College

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I am a postdoctoral scholar in the Social Computation Representation And Prediction Laboratory (SCRAP Lab) at Dartmouth College, working with Prof Mark Allen Thornton. Before joining Dartmouth College, I worked with Prof Ralph Adolphs in the Emotion and Social Cognition Lab at the California Institute of Technology, where I earned my Ph.D. degree in social science in 2019.

I will be joining the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) as an assistant professor in the Summer of 2023! My lab aims at advancing a generalizable, integrative, and mechanistic understanding of social cognition. We are currently looking for highly motivated postdocs and grad students with strong backgrounds in psychology research and computational methods. Check out the IMPression in ACTion Lab (aka the IMPACT Lab)!

My research focuses on how people form impressions of others, in particular, impressions regarding others' relatively stable traits, such as personality. What are the psychological mechanisms (e.g., origins, dimensions, dynamics)? How do trait inferences interact with other psychological processes (e.g., understanding mental states, predicting actions)? What are the behavioral consequences in the real world (e.g., in politics, law, media)?


To answer these questions, I combine computational methods (predictive modeling, deep learning algorithms), social psychology (laboratory experiments, cross-cultural studies), and real-world metrics (e.g., political corruption records, social media popularity). I apply these methods to understand impressions of others formed from a wide range of stimuli, including text descriptions, face images, naturalistic videos, and face-to-face interactions. 

I am enthusiastic about open science. I have been pre-registering my studies, sharing experiment data and code on Open Science Framework. 

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Lin, C., Keles, U., Thornton, M. A., & Adolphs, R. (accepted in principle, stage 1 registered report).Trait impressions from faces shape mental state inferences. Nature Human Behaviour.

[Data & Code] [Stage 1 Protocol]

Lin, C. & Thornton, M. (accepted). Evidence for bidirectional causation between trait and mental state inferences. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

[Paper] [Data & Code] [Preregistration] [Video]

Lin, C., & Adolphs, R. (2022). Trait impressions from faces depend on the goals of the perceiver: Commentary on Sutherland and Young. British Journal of Psychology.


Cao, R., Lin, C., Li, X., Todorov, A., Brandmeir, N., & Wang, S. (2022). A neuronal social trait space for first impressions in the human amygdala and hippocampus. Molecular Psychiatry.

[Paper] [Data & Code]


Cao, R., Lin, C., Brandmeir, N., & Wang, S. (2022). A human single-neuron dataset for face perception. Scientific Data.

[Paper] [Data & Code]

Yu, H., Cao, R., Lin, C., & Wang, S. (2022). Distinct neurocognitive bases for social trait judgments of faces in autism spectrum disorder. Translational Psychiatry.

[Paper] [Data & Code]

Lin, C., Keles, U., & Adolphs, R. (2021). Four dimensions characterize comprehensive trait judgments of faces. Nature Communications.

[Paper] [Data & Code] [Preregistration]

Keles, U., Lin, C., & Adolphs, R. (2021). A cautionary note on predicting social judgments from faces with deep neural networks. Affective Science.

[Paper] [Data & Code]

Lin, C., Keles, U., Tyszka, J. M., Gallo, M., Paul, L., & Adolphs, R. (2020). No strong evidence that social network index is associated with gray matter volume from a datadriven investigation. Cortex, 125, 307-317.

[Paper] [Data & Code] [Preregistration]

Lin, C., & Alvarez, R. M. (2020). Personality Traits Are Directly Associated with AntiBlack Prejudice in the United States. PLoS ONE.

[Paper] [Data & Code]

Lin, C., Adolphs, R., & Michael Alvarez, R. (2018). Inferring whether officials are corruptible from looking at their faces. Psychological Science, 0956797618788882.

[Paper] [Data & Code] [Preregistration]

Lin, C., Adolphs, R., & Alvarez, R. M. (2017). Cultural effects on the association between election outcomes and face-based trait inferences. PLoS ONE, 12(7), e0180837.

[Paper] [Data & Code]

Preprints and Manuscripts under Review

† Shared senior authors. 

Lin, C., Bulls, L. S., Tepfer, L. J., Vyas, A. D., & Thornton, M. A. (2023). Advancing naturalistic affective science with deep learning. PsyArXiv.


Cao, R., Zhang, N., Yu, H., Webster, P. J., Paul, L. K., Li, X., Lin, C.†, & Wang, S.†, (2022) Comprehensive social trait judgments from faces in autism spectrum disorder. PsyArXiv.

[Preprint] [Data & Code] [Preregistration]

Lin, C. & Thornton, M. (2021). Fooled by beautiful data: Visualization aesthetics bias trust in science,  news, and social media. PsyArXiv.

[Preprint] [Data & Code] [Preregistration]

Cao, R., Wang, J., Lin, C., Todorov, A., Li, X., Brandmeir, N., & Wang, S. (2020). Feature-based encoding of face identity by single neurons in the human medial temporal lobe. bioRxiv.


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