I am interested in the influence of 'top down' factors (e.g., motivation, self-categorization) on how perceivers categorize others as well as possible consequences of categorical processing for person perception. My M.A. thesis investigated the influence of target race on the extent to which individuals distinguish between true and false smiles. I am also involved in a line of research investigating cues to and consequences of trust in an intergroup context. Additionally, I am interested in patterns of visual attention during face perception and use eye tracking technology to investigate how social categorization influences face processing and emotion identification.
My research broadly concentrates on social cognition within an intergroup context. First, I examine affective and behavioral forecasting by investigating the accuracy of predictions regarding one's own reactions to explicit forms of outgroup racism. I also examine how processes related to these reactions differ depending on the racial context. Second, I amexamining the influence of body posture on perceptions of dominance and submissiveness and how these perceptions can be either an advantage or disadvantage for the target depending on their race and the context. I also have two secondary areas of research in which I examine the nature and consequences of contemporary racial colorblindness, and the development of racial attitudes among children.
My primary research focuses on intergroup dynamics, the cues used during processes of social categorization, and their resulting implications, especially those relating to topics of prejudice and stereotyping. Currently, I am studying the impact of “colourblind” strategies in intergroup contexts. Though social norms may advocate avoiding racial labels in order to appear egalitarian, research in our lab has demonstrated that such strategies can lead to increased bias. I am currently exploring the dynamics of these colourblind strategies from a perspective of goal conflict. I am also investigating strategies to minimize these negative outcomes, specifically by determining whether going against such social norms could eradicate the false sense of fulfilled egalitarianism provided by colourblind norms and subsequently result in less prejudice.
I am interested in cognitive biases, their causes, and interventions designed to dispel them. My current projects revolve around the environmental cues that may increase the likelihood of prejudiced perceptions of individuals. In particular, I am interested to see if envirnemtnal cues can produce a stressful situation in which individuals may be more likely to categorize other individuals as dangerous, in line with race stereotypes. At the same time, my interest in reducing biases currently manifests in testing the effects mindfulness and loving-kindness meditation have on prejudice.
Alexandria is a PhD student in Social & Personality Psychology. She works primarily with Dr. Joni Sasaki, but also collaborates with Dr. Kerry Kawakami and Dr. Doug McCann. Alexandria's research focuses on biculturalism, studying how biculturals navigate their cultural worlds and what unique products come out of these experiences. More broadly, her research interests include cultural influences on cognition, self-concept, and subjective experience. Beyond her life at York, Alexandria loves to travel and experience other cultures, and she is also quite the oenophile. Some of her other hobbies include softball, surfing, and entertaining friends.
I am interested in how social categorization processes shape people’s perception of others. My thesis concentrates on processes of person construal and how in-group/out-group categorization of others shapes attitudes towards these individuals. I will be investigating how people process and identify emotional expressions of fear and anger in faces of in-group and out-group members, as these identification processes can have implications on intergroup relations.
Caydianne`s aspirations are to receive acceptance into graduate school, within the discipline of Forensic Psychology. Research topics of interest include wrongful convictions, witness testimonies, geographical profiling and police investigative techniques. She is also interested in how research in implicit biases would inform said research topics. Additional interests include growing food, foraging and other related practices in agriculture. Caydianne has very weak self-control from not consuming chocolate and other sweets.
Christopher is a fourth year Psychology student who aspires to pursue graduate studies in Psychology and Business. He has a strong interest in Organizational Behaviour and Industrial Organizational Psychology. Research topics that are of interest to him include racial and gender bias in the workplace, styles of leadership, morality and leadership, and managerial psychology. Aside from Psychology, he has a strong interest in History and Economics. He is currently completing his honours thesis which looks at intergroup relations and perceptions of others.