Dr. Mary Inman

Professor of Psychology, Department Chair
Profile photo of Dr. Mary Inman

Mary Inman joined the Hope faculty in 1999. She currently is a psychology professor, and she teaches courses such as Social Psychology and Research Methods, leads students in her research, and serves the college and community in many ways.

Areas of expertise

Mary studied people’s perceptions of discrimination for 15 years, wrote two books that teach undergraduates how to do psychological research and then shifted her research interests to body image concerns.

She enjoys collaborating with students to conduct, present and write up research. She engages students in her research on identifying the causes of, and solutions to, low body esteem. Her second line of research examines how people determine whether an event reflects discrimination. She has created manipulations to determine whether people can enlarge their definition of discrimination.


  • Ph.D., social psychology, University of Iowa, 1992
  • M.A., social psychology, University of Iowa, 1989
  • B.A., psychology, Iowa State University, 1987

Honors, grants and awards

Mary received Hope College’s service award in 2011 for her work as chair of the Human Subject Review Board and her work on diversity training. She has also won teaching awards from her students.

Mary enjoys interdisciplinary teaching and research. She received interdisciplinary grants to help educators raise awareness in their classes about environmental sustainability. Her other grants include developing interdisciplinary tutorials for classes and interdisciplinary research grants to study the biological effects of perceiving discrimination.

Select publications

  • “The Socialization-Stressor Model of Racial Harassment,” with P. Radhakrishnan and K. Liggett, in Research in Human Resource Management, D.L. Stone, J.H. Dulebohn and K.M. (eds), Information Age Publishing, in press, 2020
  • “Body esteem and appearance-based self-worth: A test of religious moderators in men and women,” with C.V.O. Witvliet, Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 36, 2017
  • “Religious-body affirmations protect body esteem for women who base self-worth on appearance or others’ approval,” with A. Snyder and K. Preprah, Mental Health, Religion, and Culture, 19, 2016
  • “The Effects of Religious-Body Affirmations and Religious Commitment on Men's Body Esteem,” Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 2014
  • “Do Religious Commitments, General Commitments, or Religious Affirmations Mitigate the Negative Effects of Exposure to Thin Ideals?” Journal of Scientific Study of Religion, 2014
  • “The attractive female body weight and female body dissatisfaction in 26 countries across 10 world regions: Results of the International Body Project,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2010
  • “Misperceptions in Intergroup Conflict: Disagreeing About What We Disagree About,” Psychological Science, 2006
  • “Boasting and Firsthand and Secondhand Impressions: A New Explanation for the Positive Teller-Listener Extremity Effects,” with N. McDonald and A. Ruch, Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 26, 2004
  • “Self-Certainty and Feedback Seeking Behavior: Do Uncertain People Show Self-Assessment or Self-Protective Tendencies?,” Representative Research in Social Psychology, 26, 2002
  • “Do You See What I See? Similarities and Differences in Victims' and Observers' Perceptions of Discrimination,” Social Cognition, 19, 2001
  • “Perceiving Discrimination: The Role of Prototypes and Norm Violation,” J. Huerta and S. Oh, Social Cognition, 16, 1998
  • “Why Listeners Hear Less Than They Are Told: Attentional Load and the Teller-Listener Extremity Effect,” with R.S. Baron, J.P. David and B.M. Brunsman, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 1997
  • “The Influence of Prototypes on Perceptions of Prejudice,” with R.S. Baron, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 1996
  • “Negative Emotion and Message Processing,” with R.S. Baron, H. Logan, J. Lilly and M. Brennan, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 30, 1994
  • “Do We Tell Less Than We Know or Hear Less Than We Are Told? Exploring the Teller-Listener Extremity Effect,” with A.J. Reichl and R.S. Baron, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 29, 1993
  • “Negative Emotion and Superficial Social Processing,” with R.S. Baron, C.F. Kao and H. Logan, Motivation and Emotion, 16, 1992
  • “Detecting and labeling prejudice: Do female perpetrators go undetected?,” with R.S. Baron and C.F. Kao, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 17, 1991

View some of Mary’s published work at Digital Commons.

Outside the college

Mary mentors students and youth inside and outside of Hope College, plays in a handbell choir, enjoys playing and watching sports and is a naturalist.

Profile photo of Dr. Mary Inman
Dr. Mary Inman

Phone Number616.395.7148

A. Paul Schaap Science Center 1164 35 East 12th Street Holland, MI 49423-3605
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