Vanessa Smith-Castro, PhD

Professor, Institute for Psychological Research, University of Costa Rica (Affiliate)

Research Overview

I earned my Licenciatura degree in Psychology from the University of Costa Rica and my Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Philipps-Universität Marburg (Germany). I am professor at the School of Psychology and currently Director of the Institute for Psychological Research (IIP) of the University of Costa Rica ( My research interests are social cognitions, intergroup relations, social psychology of health, quantitative research methods and psychometrics.


Dr. rer. nat Philipps University Marburg, Germany 2001

Recent Publications

Selected publications in English:

Smith-Castro, V., Montero-Rojas, E., Moreira-Mora, & T. Zamora-Araya, J.A (under review). Expected and unexpected effects of sexism on women’s mathematics performance, Interamerican Journal of Psychology.
Zamora-Araya, J.A., Montero-Rojas, E., Moreira-Mora, T. & Smith-Castro, V. (under review). Advantages of the Rasch Model over Classical Test Theory for the analysis and interpretation of scales in the affective domain: the case of the Benevolent Sexism Scale. Avances en Psicología Latinoamericana.
Monge-Rojas, R., Fuster-Baraona, T., Garita-Arce, C., Sánchez-López, M., Colon-Ramos, U., Smith-Castro, V. (2017). How Self-Objectification Impacts Physical Activity Among Adolescent Girls in Costa Rica. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 14(2), 123-129.
Rodríguez-Arauz, G., Ramírez-Esparza, N. & Smith-Castro, V. (2016). Food Attitudes and Well-Being: The Role of Culture. Appetite. 105, 180-188.
Negy, C, Velezmoro, R., Reig-Ferrer, A., Smith-Castro, V. Livia, J. (2016). Parental Influence on Their Adult Children’s Sexual Values: A Multi-National Comparison Between the United States, Spain, Costa Rica, and Perú. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 45 (2), 477-89
Garcia, R.A., Cabeza de Baca, T., Black, C.J., Sotomayor-Peterson, M., Smith-Castro, V., & Figueredo, A.J. (2016). Measures of domain-specific resource allocations in life history strategy: Indicators of a latent common factor or ordered developmental sequence? Journal of Methods and Measurement in the Social Sciences, 7 (1), 23-51.2015
Monge-Rojas, R., Fuster-Baraona, T., Garita, C., Sánchez, M., Smith-Castro, V., Valverde-Cerros, C., Colon-Ramos, U. (2015). The Influence of Gender Stereotypes on Eating Habits Among Costa Rican Adolescents. American journal of health promotion. 29 (5), 303-10.
Cabeza de Baca, T., Sotomayor-Peterson, M., Smith-Castro, V. & Figueredo, A.J. (2014). Contributions of Matrilineal and Patrilineal Kin Alloparental Effort to the Development of Life History Strategies and Patriarchal values: A Cross-Cultural Life History Approach. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 45, 534-554.
Monge-Rojas, R., Fuster-Baraona, T., Garita, C., Sánchez, M., Smith-Castro, V., Valverde-Cerros, C., Colon-Ramos, U. (2014). The Influence of Gender Stereotypes on Eating Habits Among Costa Rican Adolescents. American journal of health promotion. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.130904-QUAL-462
Gladden, P.R., Figueredo, A.J., Andrejzak, D. J., Jones, D.N. & Smith-Castro, V. (2013). Reproductive strategy and sexual conflict: Slow life history strategy Inhibits negative androcentrism. Journal of Methods and Measurement in the Social Sciences, 4 (1), 48-71.
Monge-Rojas, R., Smith-Castro, V., Colón-Ramos, U, Aragón, C. & Herrera-Raven, F. (2013). Psychosocial factors influencing the frequency of fast-food consumption among urban and rural Costa Rican adolescents. Nutrition, 29, 1007-1012.
Rodríguez-Arauz, G., Mealy, M., Smith-Castro, V. & Diplacido, J. (2013). Sex and Sexual Behavior in Costa Rica and the United States. International Journal of Intercultural Relations. 37, 48–57.
Durante, F., Fiske, S.T., Kervyn, N., Cuddy, A. J. C., Akande, A., Adetoun, B.E., Adewuyi, M.F., Tserere, M.M., Ramiah, A.A., Mastor, K. A., Barlow, F. K., Bonn, G. Tafarodi, R.W., Bosak, J., Cairns, E., Doherty, C., Capozza, D., Chandran, A., Chryssochoou, X., Latridis, T. Contreras, J.M., Costa-Lopes, R., González, R., Lewis, J.I., Tushabe, G. Leyens, J.P., Mayorga, R. Rouhana, N. N., Smith-Castro, V. Perez, R., Rodríguez-Bailón, R., Moya, M., Morales-Marente, E., Palacios- Gálvez, M. Sibley, C.G., Asbrock, F. & Storari, Chiara C. (2013). Nations’ income inequality predicts ambivalence in stereotype content: How societies mind the gap. British Journal of Psychology. 52, 726–746
Sotomayor-Peterson, M., Cabeza De Baca, T., Figueredo, A.J. & Smith-Castro, V. (2012). Shared Parenting, Parental Effort, and Life History Strategy: A Cross-Cultural Comparison. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. doi:10.1177/0022022112455456
Figueredo, A.J., Andrzejczak, D.J., Jones, D.N., Smith-Castro, V. & Montero, E. (2011). Reproductive strategy and ethnic conflict: Slow life history as a protective factor against negative ethnocentrism in two contemporary societies. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 5(1), 14-31.
Monge-Rojas, R., Smith-Castro, V., Colon-Ramos, U., Garita-Arce, C., Sánchez-López, M. & Chinnock, A. (2010). Parental feeding styles and adolescents’ healthy eating habits. Structure and correlates of a Costa Rican questionnaire. Appetite, 55, 253-262.
Cuddy, A. J. C., Fiske, S. T., Kwan, V. S. Y., Glick, P., Demoulin, S., Leyens, J-Ph., Bond, M. H., Croizet, J-C., Ellemers, N., Sleebos, E., Htun, T. T., Yamamoto, M., Kim, H-J., Maio, G., Perry, J., Petkova, K., Todorov, V., Rodríguez-Bailón, R., Morales, E., Moya, M., Palacios, M., Smith-Castro, V., Perez, R., Vala, J., & Ziegler, R. (2009). Stereotype content model across cultures: Towards universal similarities and some differences. British Journal of Social Psychology, 48, 1-33.
van Dick, Wagner, Pettigrew, T.F., Christ, O., Wolf, C., Petzel, T., Smith-Castro, V. & Jackson, J.S. (2004). The role of perceived importance in intergroup contact. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2, 211-227.
Smith-Castro, V. (2003). Acculturation and psychological adaptation. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Contact Information
Mailing AddressCiudad de la Investigación
Sede Rodrigo Facio
San Pedro, San Jose 11501
Costa Rica