The CRIS Lab
Scroll to learn more about the current projects that the graduate students in our lab are conducting.
Essentialism, prejudice, and socialization
Zoey's research primarily focuses on essentialism (i.e., thinking of social groups as biologically based, fixed, and informative) and prejudice. One line of this work examines 1) how people think about their conceptualization of race (i.e., meta-processing race), 2) how this process influences their racial essentialist beliefs, and 3) how we can help reduce people’s racial essentialist beliefs. She also conducts research examining how people's essentialist beliefs about other social categories (i.e., gender) influences their prejudiced behaviors. In a separate line of work, she examines how parental racial socialization looks different for parents of multiracial children and parents of monoracial children. She also examines how parents’ own beliefs about race influences what they teach their children about race.
Gendered experiences of sexuality and the orgasm gap
Grace studies how gender impacts experiences of sexuality from a feminist psychological perspective. More specifically, she studies the well-established orgasm gap between cisgender men and women during partnered sex. Her main lines of research focus on (1) lay beliefs about and perceptions of the orgasm gap, (2) how biological essentialist explanations are used to justify and perpetuate the orgasm gap, and (3) women's decisions to pursue or not pursue orgasm as a goal in their sexual encounters. Grace is a recipient of the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship for her work on this topic.
Social identities, stigma, and inclusion
Melanie’s two main lines of work focus on 1) the experiences and consequences of stigmatization, and 2) identity cues and fostering inclusivity. In one line of work, Melanie studies discrimination and its consequences for people with stigmatized identities. She examines predictors of attitudes toward stigmatized groups and methods of improving intergroup dynamics among people with stigmatized identities. Melanie’s second line of research aims to improve our understanding of identity cues, which signal safety or threat to people with stigmatized identities, and their impact on different stigmatized groups. As knowledge of identity cues grows, we can identify ways to minimize identity threats and foster identity safety and inclusion for stigmatized groups.