The Psychological Social Inquiry (PSI) Lab, under the direction of Dr. Simon Howard, investigates issues related to stereotyping and prejudice. Using experimental methods drawn from cognitive, perceptual, and social investigations, much of the work in our lab explores the ways race influences—often negatively—our social perception, judgment, interactions, and memory in a variety of domains (e.g., law, education, media). Recently, projects in our lab have explored/are exploring the relationship between religiosity and prejudice, the influence of race on perceptions of individuals with obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders (e.g., trichotillomania) and the effects of social identity threat (i.e., the concern about being devalued based on one’s group identity in a given context) on cognitive performance and judgements.
Research conducted in the PSI Lab is motivated by the desire to not only advance social psychological theory related to the wide range of sociocultural and psychological processes that underlie racial bias, but also to conduct research with practical implications that will have a real-world impact on institutional/systemic racism in domains such as education, the legal system, and popular media. Additionally, although the research conducted in the PSI Lab has primarily focused on racial/ethnic prejudice and stereotyping, we also are very much interested and currently engaged in empirical work on the effects of stereotyping and prejudice more broadly.