Social Cognition & Intergroup Processes (SCIP) Laboratory



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Principal Investigator

Dr. Sylvia Perry, Principal Investigator

Sylvia Perry, Ph.D. 📧 (CV

Dr. Sylvia Perry is the Principal Investigator of the Social Cognition and Intergroup Processes (SCIP) Lab at Northwestern University. She is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina. She completed a bachelor's degree in Psychology at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas (2002), and she received her master's (2006) and doctorate (2010) in Social Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was mentored by Drs. Linda Skitka and Mary Murphy.

Dr. Perry was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral associate at Yale University from 2010-2014 under the advisement of Drs. John Dovidio and Michelle van Ryn (Mayo Clinic). Dr. Perry was an Assistant Professor of Psychological Science at the University of Vermont (UVM) from 2014-2016. In the summer of 2016, she joined the faculty at Northwestern University, where she is an Assistant Professor of Psychology. Dr. Perry investigates how bias awareness develops, and the implications of bias awareness for prejudice reduction, intergroup contact, and health disparities. She is excited to continue to develop her work at Northwestern.

In her spare time, Sylvia likes to read graphic novels, collect designer toys, and discover new music. She and her husband also enjoy spending time with their adorable infant, Henry. 

Postdoctoral Scholars

Dr. Allison Skinner, Postdoctoral Scholar

Allison Skinner, Ph.D. 📧 (CV)

Dr. Allison Skinner is a postdoctoral scholar in the Social Cognition and Intergroup Processes (SCIP) Lab at Northwestern University. She completed a bachelor's degree (2005) and master's degree (2009) in Psychology at California State University, Chico, and she received her doctorate (2015) in Experimental Psychology (emphasis on social psychology and neuroscience) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

Dr. Skinner was formerly a postdoctoral research associate at University of Washington from 2015-2017 under the advisement of Drs. Kristina Olson and Andrew Meltzoff.  Her research is centered on developing an understanding of the causes and consequences of subtle social bias (e.g., implicit racial biases). In her research she examines how subtle social biases are activated and spread among children and adults. Click here for Allison's website. 

In her spare time, Allison likes to cook, salsa dance, practice her French, and travel the world. 

Graduate Students

EP Nelsen, Graduate Student

EP Nelsen 📧 (CV)

EP Nelsen is a second-year graduate student in Social Psychology. They received their BA from Kansas State University in 2016, where they worked with Dr. Don Saucier developing a research program examining the construct of feminine honor. 

EP now works with Dr. Sylvia Perry examining perceptions and stereotypes about women of color through the lens of intersectionality.  EP’s research program is an examination of intersectional invisibility aimed at determining how stereotypes, context, and different intersections of identity (e.g., Black women vs. Latina women), determine if the individual experiences invisibility or hypervisibility.  This program will be expanded to focus on consequences of hyper-visibility or invisibility in specific contexts such as street sexual harassment.

EP enjoys reading everything from Feminist theory (e.g., bell hooks), Russian literature (e.g., Ludmilla Petrushevskaya) to comics (e.g., Ms. Marvel). They also have a slight Star Wars obsession. EP also loves to cook vegan, be outdoors, and play with their cats

James Wages, Graduate Student

James Wages 📧 (CV)

James is a second-year Ph.D. student in social psychology at Northwestern University and joined the SCIP Lab in fall of 2015. Under the advisement of Drs. Sylvia Perry and Galen Bodenhausen, James broadly studies the social nature of perception, identity, and bias. Currently, James is investigating how people form risk-taking impressions of racial, gender, and sexuality groups and the downstream consequences of these impressions on social disparities in healthcare and criminal justice.

Before coming to Northwestern, James briefly studied under the mentorship of Sylvia Perry, Carol Miller, and Liz Pinel at the University of Vermont in Burlington. James, a Northwest Arkansas native, earned his bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (2013), under the mentorship of Dave Schroeder, Scott Eidelman, and Bill Levine.

In their spare time, James and his partner enjoys kayaking on the Lake, cheering on the Arkansas Razorbacks, consuming all things Star Wars, and exploring Chicagoland!

 Sirenia Sanchez, Graduate Student

Sirenia Sanchez, Graduate Student

Sirenia Sanchez 📧(CV)

Sirenia Sanchez is an incoming first year graduate student in the Social Psychology PhD. program at Northwestern University. She will work in the SCIP lab under the advisement of Dr. Sylvia Perry, where she will study the impacts of stereotypes and intergroup dynamics on the individual's self-esteem and self-perceptions.

Sirenia received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara. As a McNair Scholar she worked with Dr. Nancy Collins to investigate the influences self-esteem has on self-disclosure in close interpersonal relationships.

In her free time, Sirenia enjoys beer tasting, catching up on films she's repeatedly been told to watch, and jogging. After studying abroad in England during her undergrad, she caught the "travel bug" and loves immersing herself in different cultures as well as finding cheap ways to explore new places.

Lab Manager

Adilene Osnaya, Lab Manager

Adilene Osnaya 📧 (CV)

Adilene is a recent graduate from Dominican University. She completed her bachelor’s degree (2017) in psychology with a minor in Spanish Studies. As an undergraduate and under the guidance of her mentor, Dr. Tina Taylor-Ritzler, Adilene studied ways to buffer the effects of stereotype threat on the academic performance of latino(a) students. 

Adilene is thrilled to be working in the Social Cognition and Intergroup Processes (SCIP) Lab at Northwestern. She is looking forward to collaborating with and learning from every member of the lab. She is interested in further investigating and understanding how stereotypes, social biases and attitudes affect minority populations' psychological well-being. Furthermore, Adilene is interested in understanding these topics in educational and healthcare settings. Adilene is interested in pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology and she is confident that the SCIP lab will give her the opportunity to expand her knowledge of the research and statistical methodologies used in the social and behavioral sciences, preparing her to be successful in graduate school.   

In her free time, Adilene enjoys reading, drawing and painting, working out, and exploring new places. 

Research Assistants

 Crystal Manjarrez, Research Assistant

Crystal Manjarrez, Research Assistant

Crystal Manjarrez

Crystal Manjarrez is a third-year student at Northwestern University. She is majoring in Psychology and Latinx Studies. Crystal is volunteering at SCIP to gain research experience in the field of Psychology. She is hoping to get a better understanding of Research Methods and how they are used in real studies and experiments. She wants to understand how research unfolds in its entirety. Crystal is interested in studying racial implicit biases in minority groups and looking at how they differ from implicit biases in racial majority groups.

In her free time, Crystal spends as much time as she can petting dogs and other cute animals. Dachshunds are her favorite. She also likes to craft, read books, and play video games. One of her favorite video games series is the Legend of Zelda series. She’s probably playing the latest game now. On campus, Crystal is a member of Kappa Delta Chi, a Latina founded service sorority, and Phi Sigma Pi, an honors fraternity.

 Elisa Rapadas, SROP Fellow

Elisa Rapadas, SROP Fellow

Elisa Rapadas

Elisa Rapadas is a rising senior at Saint Mary’s College of California majoring in Psychology. She has studied the convergence of confidence, social influence, and sexism with Prof. Paul Zarnoth as well as cultural competency and colorblind racial attitudes in mental health professionals in Guam and the Bay Area with Dr. Mark Barajas.

She loves learning new research and methodological skills, poking around Excel and SPSS, reading, blogging, and writing. She is passionate about mentoring younger students and event planning for the Psi Chi chapter and Psychology Club at her school.

She is excited to work in the SCIP lab as an SROP Summer Fellow. She looks forward to learning about the lab’s diverse lines of research!

 Ericka Woods, IPR Fellow

Ericka Woods, IPR Fellow

Ericka Woods

Ericka is a junior at Northwestern University majoring in Social Policy, with minors in African-American Studies and Business Institutions. She is so excited to join the SCIP to learn about unconscious biases, especially in terms of race and/or ethnicity, as well as gain valuable research experience.

In her free time, Ericka enjoys watching Youtube videos, volunteering in the community, and petting all the dogs. She has a soft spot for dogs with black fur, horror films, and MMOs. Also, she currently serves as Secretary in FMO (Northwestern's Black Student Union) as well as Vice-President in the Women's Residential College.

 Jahan Sahni, Research Assistant

Jahan Sahni, Research Assistant

Jahan Sahni

Jahan is a sophomore student at Northwestern University attempting to pursue an Ad Hoc major in Behavioural Economics with minors in Business Institutions and Classics. Jahan is volunteering in the lab to expand his knowledge about the world of research and is particularly interested in further investigating how unconscious biases affect choices we make. He is most intent on learning how we might better design institutions to counteract these reasoning flaws to create a more equitable society and how to best educate people about personal biases of which they themselves might be unaware.

Outside of the classroom, Jahan is an avid Northwestern sports fan, leading the student section in events as the Operations Chair of Wildside. He personally plays on the Northwestern Club Field Hockey and Cricket teams. Jahan enjoys charitable work, he is on the Finance Committee for Northwestern University’s Dance Marathon, a 30 hour continuous ‘danceathon’ which seeks to raise money for local charities (this year the primary beneficiary is Cradles to Crayons). He is also fascinated by politics, (particularly US politics, despite living in England), following political news and debates closely, and is a part of Northwestern’s Political Union.

 Jennifer Martinez, Research Assistant

Jennifer Martinez, Research Assistant

Jennifer Martinez

Jennifer Martinez is a fourth year at Northwestern University with a major is Psychology and a minor in Latinx Studies. Jennifer is excited to be volunteering at the Social Cognition and Interpersonal group lab this summer as a SIGP Fellow. She is interested to learn more about the process of research design while gaining more research experience. 

In her free time, Jennifer enjoys attending concerts and spending time with her dogs, Lilo and Frida. She likes to explore downtown and find new restaurants. On campus, Jennifer works as a  Jumpstart Corps Member promoting literacy skills in preschool children. She is also a member of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc., a Latina founded service sorority. 

 Kenneth Xu, Research Assistant

Kenneth Xu, Research Assistant

Kenneth Xu

My name is Kenneth Xu, I’m currently a senior at Northwestern University majoring in psychology, and I joined the SCIP lab in January 2018. I’m particularly interested in the development of high implicit bias and studying racial bias in the context of romantic relationships. Working in the SCIP lab, I hope to deepen my understanding of bias and attitudes, become more familiar with the research process, and develop the necessary skills to pursue further studies in psychology research in graduate school.

In my free time, I like to go to the gym, catch up with friends, and spend my time outside either skateboarding or exploring new places. On campus, I am also a Chemistry peer mentor for the ASLA Peer Guided Study Groups program.

 Lydia Teferra, Research Assistant

Lydia Teferra, Research Assistant

Lydia Teferra

I am a sophomore at Northwestern University who is pursuing a double major in Psychology and Global Health. This is my first time working in a lab and I am excited to expand my knowledge on the various aspects and processes involved in conducting psychological research and eager to gain experience that will no doubt be invaluable to my future endeavors in graduate school. I was particularly drawn to this lab because I have an interest in the subtle ways in which various biases develop and manifest and I am excited to study this phenomenon in the context of parent-child dynamics.

Outside of the classroom, I enjoy reading and spending time with friends in addition to catching up with all of my countless shows on Netflix, some of my favorites being Greys Anatomy, Scandal, and recently, The Punisher. I am also involved in some organizations on campus which include UNICEF NU, Campus Kitchens, and an honors fraternity by the name of Phi Sigma Pi. 

 Madden McDonnell, Research Assistant

Madden McDonnell, Research Assistant

Madden McDonnell

Madden is a rising sophomore at Pitzer College, one of the Claremont Colleges in California, where she is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish. She is planning on focusing on social psychology and how it interacts with the legal system. Madden is very excited to be a research assistant in the SCIP Lab this summer.  Learning more about research methods and participating in data collection are two of her main interests. She wants to gain insight on implicit biases and learn more about their effects. Madden is looking forward to gaining research experience and expanding her knowledge within the field of psychology.

In her free time she enjoys relaxing with friends and family, playing with her two puppies, reading, writing, watching Netflix, working out, and exploring. At her college, she is a goalkeeper for the Pomona-Pitzer Women's Soccer Team. Outside of the lab, she is a day camp counselor for children aged 3-6 and a private goalkeeper trainer for youth soccer players. 

 Maia Williams, SROP Fellow

Maia Williams, SROP Fellow

Maia Williams

Maia Williams is a rising junior at the University of Maryland, College Park majoring in psychology and minoring in Business: Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She is excited to learn about racial relations, particularly racial and ethnic biases. Maia is joining SCIP to broaden and develop her research skills, as well as gain more insight into the solutions of reconciliation through unconscious biases. 

Outside of academia, Maia enjoys spending quality time with her friends and family, advocating for sexual assault survivors, as well as binge watching television shows when the time allows. She also enjoys the campus organizations she is involved in, as well as volunteering. 

 Mia Weed, Research Assistant

Mia Weed, Research Assistant

Mia Weed

Mia Weed is an undergraduate student at Northwestern University pursuing a major in Psychology. Mia is incredibly excited and grateful to be having her first research experience with the SCIP Lab, where she hopes to learn more about the salience and nature of racial biases as well as the process and methodology of psychological research as a whole. She is very interested in the tumultuous relationship between racial justice and science and hopes to contribute to a world in which ethical methodology and scientific rigor can coexist.   

In her free time, Mia enjoys participating in theatre as both an artist and an audience member, writing comedy, and torturing her friends with nerdy psych jokes.  She hopes to continue to be politically active both on campus and off.


 Noelle Lee, Research Assistant

Noelle Lee, Research Assistant

Noelle Lee

Noelle is a third-year pre-medical student at Northwestern University with a Psychology major and English Literature minor. She is thrilled to be joining the SCIP lab and looks forward to learning more about the manifestations of unconscious biases as well as gaining research experience, both of which she believes will be deeply valuable to pursuing a career in healthcare. She is very interested in the development of implicit biases and internalized stigmas in children of young ages.

Noelle is also a work-study student at The Cradle Adoption Agency and Internal President of GreekBuild, a service organization within the Northwestern Greek community. When not studying or babysitting, she can most likely be found playing around on Photoshop in a cafe or exploring her beloved hometown of Chicago.

 Ramon Pelayo, Research Assistant

Ramon Pelayo, Research Assistant

Ramon Pelayo

Ramon Pelayo is a third-year student at Northwestern University where he studies biology and psychology. Ramon is really interested in studying how people work through a biopsychosocial approach. In his developmental psychology and social psychology classes, Ramon became interested in the development of racial identity and implicit bias and how racial identity and implicit bias affect how individuals function in different environments. By working in the SCIP Lab, Ramon hopes to be able to explore these interests and psychological research more broadly.

In his free time, Ramon can be found scrolling through Reddit, watching Netflix, or spending time with his friends. Ramon's non-academic interests include skincare, horror movies, and Amazon Prime

 Wesley Ameden, Research Assistant

Wesley Ameden, Research Assistant

Wesley Ameden

Wes recently graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelors degree in psychology, and a minor in economics. He completed a thesis about the resurgence of extinguished operant behavior in humans and is particularly interested in the psychology of decision making, into which the study of personal biases fits nicely. After working with Dr. Perry at UVM, Wes is thrilled to be able to do so again as a summer research assistant in the SCIP lab.

In his free time, Wes enjoys traveling, reading, trying new foods, and petting random dogs on the street.

Lab Alumni

  Emily Blevins , Graduate Student Affiliate, Summer 2018 

Emily Blevins, Graduate Student Affiliate, Summer 2018 

  Bhumi Patel,  Research Assistant Summer 2018

Bhumi Patel, Research Assistant Summer 2018

Liz Quinn,  Research Assistant F'17 - Summer'18

Emily Reich, Research Assistant F'17 - S'18

  Effy Phillips , Research Assistant Spring 2018

Effy Phillips, Research Assistant Spring 2018

Yaa Boakye, Research Assistant Fall 2017

Sierra Semko, Research Assistant Summer 2017

Elina Choi, Research Assistant Summer 2017

Katie Busch, Research Assistant Summer 2017


Lab Mascot

 Farrah Stanczak, Lab Mascot

Farrah Stanczak, Lab Mascot

Farrah Stanczak

Farrah, not to be confused with the late great Mrs. Fawcett, has a bachelors in dog treats and a masters in belly rubs from Cute Pets U. Farrah studies how vacuums are secretly plotting to take over the world. 

In her spare time, she enjoys long walks, barking at squirrels, and chewing on her parents' "good" shoes. She is excited for all the attention she will be receiving from the SCIP Lab and Psych Dept.