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Diversity and Culture

The 21st century is an exciting and complex era. People all over the world can connect with a few clicks, social movements can begin on social media, and nations and economies are increasingly interdependent. Despite these modern advances, issues of social stratification and inequality persist in our societies, and biases against members of stigmatized social groups are perpetuated by institutions and by individuals. In our department, researchers are interested in understanding the causes and consequences of social biases and how psychological processes are shaped by and, in turn, shape diverse social interactions.

Below are some of research questions that we are currently investigating:

  •      How do people categorize others who are racially ambiguous? What social and individual differences influence the racial categories that people readily use? For instance, why are some individuals more or less likely see Barack Obama as Black?
  •      Under what conditions are people persuaded by an argument, and how do the social identities of the persuader influence the argument’s persuasive power? For instance, why might the same argument be more convincing when it comes from a Black person than a White person?
  •      What factors enable people to excel in achievement contexts, and do these factors have divergent effects on people from different social groups? For example, what social, environmental, and cultural factors can differentially lead men and women to cultivate and sustain academic interest in STEM?
  •      How does culture shape individuals’ psychological well-being and their behavior in close relationships? For example, what are the cultural universals and culture-specific causes in what produces well-being, such as life satisfaction and enjoying life? What are the different ways people in diverse cultures experience "happiness”? Are some societies and cultures more conducive to happiness than others, and why?

People

Social Area Faculty

Jacqueline M. Chen

Edward F. Diener

Ansuk Jeong

David Sanbonmatsu

Carol Sansone

Paul H. White

Affiliated Faculty (Outside of the Social Area)

Lisa Diamond

Bruce Ellis

Lee Raby

Cecilia Wainryb

Papers related to research questions

  •      Under what conditions are people persuaded by an argument, and how do the social identities of the persuader influence the argument’s persuasive power? For instance, why might the same argument be more convincing when it comes from a Black person than a White person?

White, P. H., & Harkins, S. G. (1994). Race of source effects in the elaboration likelihood model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 790-807. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.67.5.790

  •      How do people categorize others who are racially ambiguous? What social and individual differences influence the racial categories that people readily use? For instance, why are some individuals more or less likely see Barack Obama as Black?

Chen, J.M., & Norman, J.B. (2016). Toward a comprehensive understanding of the factors underlying multiracial person perception. Analysis of Social Issues and Public Policy. doi: 10.1111/asap.12122

Carpinella, C.M., Chen, J.M., Hamilton, D.L., & Johnson, K.L. (2015). Gendered facial cues influence race categorizations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41, 405-419. doi: 10.1177/0146167214567153  

Chen, J.M., Moons, W.G., Gaither, S.E., Hamilton, D.L., & Sherman, J.W. (2014). Motivation to control prejudice predicts categorization of multiracials. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40(5), 590-603. doi:  10.1177/0146167213520457

  •      What factors enable people to excel in achievement contexts, and do these factors have divergent effects on people from different social groups? For example, what social, environmental, and cultural factors can differentially lead men and women to cultivate and sustain academic interest in STEM?

Smith, J. L., Sansone, C., & White, P. H. (2007). The stereotyped task engagement process: The role of interest and achievement motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99, 99-114. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.99.1.99

Thoman, D. B., & Sansone, C. (2016). Gender bias triggers diverging science interests between women and men: The role of activity interest appraisals. Motivation and Emotion, 1-14. doi: 10.1007/s11031-016-9550-1

  •      How does culture shape individuals’ psychological well-being and their behavior in close relationships? For example, what are the the cultural universals and culture-specific causes in what produces well-being, such as life satisfaction and enjoying life? What are the different ways people in diverse cultures experience "happiness?" Are some societies and cultures more conducive to happiness than others, and why?

Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Lucas, R. E. (2015). National accounts of subjective well-being. American Psychologist, 70, 234-242. doi: 10.1037/a0038899

MacKenzie, J., Smith, T. W., Uchino, B. N., White, P. H., & Light, K. C. (2014). Depressive symptoms, anger/hostility, and relationship quality in young couples. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 33, 380-396. doi: 10.1521/jscp.2014.33.4.380

Relevant Course Offerings

Graduate Courses

PSY 7961 – Advanced Topics in Social Psychology

PSY 7963 – Social Psychological Approaches to Diversity and Culture

PSY 7860 – Culture, Diversity, and Mental Health

Undergraduate Courses

PSY 3040 – Psychology of Gender

PSY 3450 – Cross-Cultural Psychology

PSY 3960 – Psychology and Social Issues

PSY 4450 – Intergroup Relations

Additional Resources/Opportunities

Departmental

  • Social Computer Lab
  • Interaction Lab
  • Post-doctoral Program for Underrepresented and Disadvantaged Scholars
  • Social Psychology Winter Conference

University and Field at Large

 

 

 

Last Updated: 5/18/17