Dr. Abigail Riemer

Assistant Professor of Social Psychology ariemer@carrollu.edu Rankin 142

TEACHES IN THE FOLLOWING PROGRAM(S)

Department of Life Sciences Psychology

Biography

As a social psychologist, embracing and increasing diversity are at the forefront of my mind. In my research, I examine causes and consequences of a subtle form of gender prejudice - sexual objectification in which women are reduced to their sexualized body parts or appearance. With an understanding of the mechanisms underlying these causes and consequences, my work attempts to not only help women cope with prejudicial experiences, but also to stop them from happening in the first place. My applied perspective follows me into the classroom where students gain the ability to identify and understand the psychology of their everyday lives. 

My pursuit for increasing diversity stems from personal experiences I had as a young woman interested in engineering. After realizing my passion for psychological research while at Bradley University, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in order to better understand issues of diversity and inclusion through psychological science. As a result, my work continues to investigate factors, like alcohol and cultural orientation, that lead men and women to see women as sexual objects, in addition to the ways in which these experiences shape women's perceptions of perpetrators as well as their own career and relationship goals. Together my program of research aims to identify ways to increase women's representation across stereotypically masculine domains (e.g., STEM, business).

When I'm not teaching or doing research, I love checking out new places whether that's a new state or country, or a new restaurant downtown Milwaukee. I also enjoy baking (I'm currently on a frozen custard kick), doing escape rooms, and hanging out with my husband and two mischievous cats.

Education

  • 2019 University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Ph.D. in Social Psychology
  • 2016 University of Nebraska-Lincoln, M.S. in Psychology
  • 2013 Bradley University, B.S. in Psychology, Minor in Decision Analysis

Areas of Specialization

Social psychology, diversity, prejudice, gender, sexual harassment, women in STEM

Scholarly and Professional Achievements

Publications

Sáez, G., Riemer, A. R., Valor Segura, I., & Expósito, F. (2021). “I’ll stop talking now”: Women’s silence in response to objectifying interactions. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. doi: 10.1177/0265407520958474

Riemer, A. R., Allen, J., *Gullickson, M., & Gervais, S. J. (2020). You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar: Objectification valence interacts with women’s enjoyment of sexualization to influence social perceptions. Sex Roles.
 
Sáez, G., Riemer, A. R., Valor Segura, I., & Expósito, F. (2021). “I’ll stop talking now”: Women’s silence in response to objectifying interactions. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. doi: 10.1177/0265407520958474
 
Wollast, R., Riemer, A. R., Sarda, E., & Klein, O. (2020). How self-compassion moderates the relation between body surveillance and body shame among men and women. Mindfulness. doi: 10.1007/s12671-020-01448-w
 
Riemer, A. R., Sáez, G., Brock, R. L., & Gervais, S. J. (2020). Self-fulfilling objectification in relationships: The effects of men’s objectifying expectations on women’s self-objectification in intimate partner relationships. Self and Identity. doi: 10.1080/15298868.2020.1778518
 
Wollast, R., Riemer, A. R., Gervais, S. J., Grigoryan, L., & Bernard, P. (2020). How cultural orientation and self-compassion shape objectified body consciousness for women from America, Belgium, Russia, and Thailand. Self and Identity. doi: 10.1080/15298868.2020.1787220
 
Riemer, A. R., Allen, J., *Gullickson, M., & Gervais, S. J. (2020). You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar: Objectification valence interacts with women’s enjoyment of sexualization to influence social perceptions. Sex Roles. doi: 10.1007/s11199-020-01143-z
 
Sáez, G., Riemer, A. R., Brock, R. L., & Gervais, S. J. (2020). The role of interpersonal sexual objectification in heterosexual intimate partner violence from perspectives of perceivers and targets. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. doi: 10.1007/s11199-018-0990-9
 
Gervais, S. J., Sáez, G., Riemer, A. R., & Klein, O. (2020). The Social Interaction Model of Objectification (SIMO): Objectification as an (often) self-fulfilling interaction process for perceivers and targets. British Journal of Social Psychology59, 248-283. doi: 10.1111/bjso.12339   
 
Wollast, R., Riemer, A. R., Bernard, P., Leys, C., Kotsou, I., & Klein, O. (2019). How Self-Compassion Moderates the Effect of Body Surveillance on Subjective Happiness, Psychological Distress and Body Shame among Women. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 60, 464-472doi: 10.1111/sjop.12553 
 
Sáez, G., Riemer, A. R., Brock, R. L., & Gervais, S. J. (2019). Objectification in romantic relations from female recipient and male perpetrator perspectives. Sex Roles, 81, 370-384doi: 10.1007/s11199-018-0990-9
 
Riemer, A. R., Gervais, S. J., Skorinko, J., *Douglas, S. M., *Spencer, H., *Nugai, K., *Karapanagou, A., & *Miles-Novelo, A. (2018). She looks like she’d be an animal in bed: Dehumanization of drinking women in social contexts. Sex Roles. doi: 10.1007/s11199-018-0958-9
 
Gervais, S. J., Allen, J., Riemer, A. R., & *Gullickson, M. (2018). The balanced objectification hypothesis: The effects of objectification valence and body sentiment on source sentiment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. doi: 10.1177/0146167218789625
 
Riemer, A. R., Haikalis, M., Franz, M. R., Dodd, M., DiLillo, D., & Gervais, S. J. (2018). Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder: An initial investigation of the effects of alcohol, attractiveness, warmth, and competence on the objectifying gaze in men. Sex Roles, 79, 449-463. doi: 10.1007/s11199-017-0876-2
 
Franz, M. R., Haikalis, M., Riemer, A. R., Parrott, D., Gervais, S. J., & DiLillo, D. (2018). Further validation of a laboratory analog sexual aggression task: Associations with novel risk factors for sexual violence. Violence and Victims, 33, 486-503. doi: 10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-17-00064
 
Gervais, S. J., Philippe, B., & Riemer, A. R. (2015). Who treats people as sex objects? Cultural orientation, social comparison, and sexual objectification perpetration. International Review of Social Psychology special issue, Objectifying Others: Social Psychological Perspectives, 28, 153-181.
 
Riemer, A. R., Chaudoir, S. R., & Earnshaw, V. A. (2014). What looks like sexism and why? The effect of comment type and perpetrator type on women’s perceptions of sexism. The Journal of General Psychology, 141, 263-279. doi: 10.1080/00221309.2014.907769

*denotes undergraduate student co-author

Recent Presentations

Riemer, A. R. (2019, October). Hoping to make the grade: Sexual objectification reduces women’s academic performance due to reduced hope. Paper to be presented in the “Sexual Objectification” symposium at the 56th annual meeting of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology (SESP), Toronto, Canada. 

Riemer, A. R., Gervais, S. J., & Davidson, M. M. (2019, April). Sexual objectification reduces women’s academic performance due to reduced hope. Paper presented in the “Sexual Harassment and Objectification of Women” symposium at the 91st annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA), Chicago, IL. 

Riemer, A. R., Gervais, S. J., & Skorinko, J. (2019, February). She looks like she’d be an animal in bed: Dehumanization of drinking women in social contexts. Data blitz to presented at the 20thannual meeting of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), Portland, OR.

What is your teaching style?

My teaching style is centered on highlighting how psychology unfolds in our own everyday lives. I think what initially drew me to psychology was that I could use what I learned in the classroom to understand how myself and others interact. Because of that, I include lots of real life examples in my lectures and in activities and assignments, I challenge students to do the same. I also think that it is important to understand psychology as a science, so reading scientific articles takes center-stage in my classes. Although these readings can be challenging, I enjoy taking class time to unpack not only the findings but also to act as critical consumers of the methods relied on by the researchers.

Why do you do what you do?

I love my job because I am able to incorporate all of the things I am passionate about within psychology! While in the classroom I get to share with students all of the theories, methods, and research findings that excite me. I enjoy the moments of surprise when talking about research findings that contradict our expectations and the clarity that occurs when we can unpack what is really going on. And when I am not in the classroom, I get to pose my own research questions about social interactions that I am personally curious about. Through the process of collaborating with students and other researchers I get to be creative in designing research studies and I am always excited when our findings help us add to our ever-evolving understanding of social interactions. 

pano of main campus