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 at 

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

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, Graduate Student

EP Nelsen 📧 (CV)

EP Nelsen is a first 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 prejudice directed at women of color. They are developing a research program examining phenomena contributing to the street sexual harassment of women of color, and how feminine honor may moderate the objectification of women of color. They hope to expand this program to examine prejudice toward other intersecting identities, such as individuals who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. 

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, 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

Sirenia Sanchez, Research Assistant and SROP Fellow

Sirenia Sanchez, Research Assistant and SROP Fellow

Sirenia Sanchez

Sirenia Sanchez is a rising senior at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she is a double major in Psychology and Communication. Sirenia is a McNair Scholar and a research assistant for Dr. Nancy Collins’ Close Relationships Lab and for Dr. Dana Mastro’s Media Physiology Lab. Borrowing theories and methods from both disciplines, Sirenia would like to research how stereotypes of a specific ethnic group in a given society influence the self-esteem of an individual in that ethnic group; she will also like to study how those levels of self-esteem may vary across different societies.

Sirenia is most excited to collaborate with others and learn more about literature on intersectionality while working in the SCIP Lab. She is also interested in improving her research method skills and familiarizing herself with statistical software used in social science research. 

In her free time, Sirenia enjoys beer tasting, talking about music and films, and running. After studying abroad in England, she caught the “travel bug” and loves immersing herself in different cultures as well as finding cheap ways to explore new places. 

Sierra Semko, Research Assistant

Sierra Semko, Research Assistant

Sierra Semko

I have just finished my third year as an undergraduate studying Psychology, Spanish and Marketing at Miami University of Ohio. At Miami, I have been a member of Dr. Jonathan Kunstman's Social Motives Lab where we investigate motivated intergroup processes and the psychological experience of power. I am also in the process of completing an honors thesis investigating the experiences of African American college students. I am also a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. 

In the SCIP Lab, I am mostly looking forward to investigating topics and using methods in Psychological research that I have yet to be exposed to! Science is one of my greatest passions, and I love the investigative process. Everything from reading literature, to collecting data, to writing is exciting to me, and I'm looking forward to spending the summer doing these things with the SCIP Lab members.

Outside of Psychology, my other passions include cooking and eating delicious food (e.g., paella and ramen), reading (The Handmaid's Tale is my favorite book), being out and about, and adding to my (vast) makeup collection. 

Elina Choi, Research Assistant

Elina Choi, Research Assistant

Elina Choi

Elina Choi is a rising senior at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. Enabled by a liberal arts education, she explores various academic fields - including Mathematics, Music, and Psychology. As an international student from Korea, she has developed an interest in understanding how various cultural contexts impact identity and social cognition. This summer, she is excited to join the SCIP lab where she can work collaboratively with others from different backgrounds. She aspires to be involved with the facets of psychological research, from literary analyses to statistical methods.

On her free time, she likes to take a nap, eat, and watch movies. As a music enthusiast, she also plays jazz piano, violin, and composes her own music.

Katie Busch, Research Assistant

Katie Busch, Research Assistant

Katie Busch

Katie Busch is a rising junior who attends New Trier High School in Winnetka, Il. She is excited to learn more about the workings of a psychology lab and is especially interested in social perceptions and feminine honor. In her free time, she loves playing lacrosse, cooking, and playing with her dog Copper.


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. -- Yale 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.