Social Cognition & Intergroup Processes (SCIP) Laboratory




Principal Investigator

Dr. Sylvia Perry, Principal Investigator

Sylvia Perry, Ph.D. 📧 (CV)

Dr. Perry will be on leave during the Fall and Winter quarters of the 2017-2018 Academic Year. If you need to get in touch with Dr. Perry or have questions about the SCIP Lab, please contact Dr. Allison Skinner 📧 or Adilene Osnaya 📧

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 are excited to explore all Chicago has to offer. 


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

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!

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


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, Adilene studied ways to buffer the effects of stereotype threat on the academic performance of latino(a) students. Under the guidance of her mentor, Dr. Tina Taylor-Ritzler, she researched whether the presence of a latino(a) instructor could moderate the effects of negative stereotypes by providing a protective power of similar ethnicity. 

Adilene is thrilled to be joining 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 stereotypes, social biases and attitudes, and intersectionality. She is excited to work with and learn about populations that she has not worked with before. Adilene 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

Liz Quinn, Research Assistant

Liz Quinn

Liz Quinn in a senior at Northwestern University where she studies psychology. After graduation, she plans to pursue to dual JD/PhD in social psychology. Liz is interested in how implicit biases effect jury-decision making and outcomes in hate crime trials. Currently, Liz is investigating the correlation between implicit disgust and assessment of victim-blame in LGBT hate crime cases.

Liz discovered her love for research while volunteering for two quarters in Dr. Wendi Gardner’s lab and is over-the-moon to now be joining the SCIP lab. During her time in the lab, she hopes to gain a more in-depth understanding of research methods and project development.

In her free time, Liz enjoys running, going on adventures with her partner, and obsessing over her black lab, Maguire. She is also the President of the Northwestern School of Professional Studies Student Alliance Board.

Emily Reich, Research Assistant

Emily Reich

Emily Reich is a sophomore at Northwestern University. She is pursuing a double major in Psychology and Art Theory and Practice. Emily is volunteering at the SCIP Lab to develop her knowledge of research methods and gain experience working in the social psychology field. She is interested in how parental interactions with racially diverse populations affect attitude development in children. Emily is excited to gain insight on implicit biases and how that might correlate in parent-child relationships. She later plans to study Color Therapy and how that can affect the mood/health of individuals.


Emily enjoys relaxing with friends or looking at cute animal pictures on the internet. She also spends a lot of time at the local art store where she works to further her passion for creating and expressing herself through mixed media.

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. 


Lab Alumni

Yaa Boakye, Research Assistant 

Undergraduate student at Northwestern University

Sirenia Sanchez, Research Assistant and SROP Fellow

Undergraduate student at University of California, Santa Barbra 

Sierra Semko, Research Assistant

Undergraduate student at Miami University (OH)

Elina Choi, Research Assistant

Undergraduate student at Kalamazoo College

Katie Busch, Research Assistant

High school student in the Chicagoland area


The SCIP-SCL Joint Lab Meeting 

We hold a weekly joint lab meeting on Friday afternoons with the Social Cognition Lab (SCL) headed by Professor Galen Bodenhausen. Check out their website here.



Jamie Abaied, Ph.D. -- University of Vermont

Sara Burke, Ph.D. -- Syracuse University

John Dovidio, Ph.D. -- Intergroup Relations Lab at Yale University

Sarah Gaither, Ph.D. -- Duke Identity & Diversity Lab at Duke University

Rachel Hardeman, Ph.D. -- University of Minnesota 

Mary Murphy, Ph.D. -- Mind & Identity in Context Lab at Indiana University

Sean Phelan, Ph.D. -- Mayo Clinic 

Michelle van Ryn, Ph.D. -- Mayo Clinic 


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.