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.
My primary research interests pertain to cognitive processes, social perception, and intergroup bias; particularly, how racial stereotypes and implicit prejudice influence automatic behaviors, and the implications of these behaviors in cross-race interactions.
As a social psychologist interested in race and context, my research focuses on how context influences intergroup relations and social identity. The contexts in which we are confronted with issues of race vary from neighborhoods to online forums; I am interested in how features of these various contexts, such as their diversity or norms, may impact intergroup relations and how individuals experience their social identities. My program of research focuses on three areas: racial diversity and intergroup relations, Multiracial identity, and racial attitudes online.
Visiting/affiliated graduate students
I am primarily focused on studying intergroup interactions and social cognition. My work focuses on interracial and intraminority friendships, along with relevant perceptual, categorical, and group processes. At the present moment, I am examining the effects of inclusive and malleable mindsets/motivations within two realms. The first examines how motivation can shift perception and subsequent categorization of outgroup members. The second considers how mindsets can benefit and enhance the effects of race-related conversations and intergroup friendships. Another line of research I am pursuing is the development of race and gender biases and respective categorization within children. Through my work I hope to hone in on the mechanisms that promote both positive intergroup relations and contribute to allyship and collective action.
Maïka is a visiting PhD student from University of Granada in Spain. She is conducting research in the lab for the duration of Fall 2018.
My research broadly focuses on learning processes in social contexts. Specifically, I am interested in the cognitive and social determinants for categorization vs. individuation strategies in intergroup contexts, as well as the social biases that may impair learning and social decision-making.
Honours students/Co-Lab Managers
Michael Harmon Szendrei