Social Cognition & Intergroup Processes (SCIP) Laboratory




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!

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.

 Effy Phillips, Research Assistant

Effy Phillips, Research Assistant

Effy Phillips

Effy Phillips is a junior at Northwestern University majoring in Human Development in Psychological Services with a minor in Sociology and a certificate in Civic Engagement. Her research interests include the intersection of mental health support access and disparities among minorities, low-income communities, and other high risk populations; various methods of effective intervention and prevention for mental health disorders; and the neurocognitive, environmental, and psychosocial factors influencing the onset and development of psychiatric disorders in kids and adolescents. Effy is excited to gain research experience and look further at the relationship between intergroup contexts, educational and healthcare settings, on individual psychological well-being.

Outside of the laboratory, Effy likes to pursue her hobby of photography and rewatch the same shows on Netflix because who actually gets tired of The Office. She is involved in some other organizations on campus such as the honor fraternity Phi Sigma Pi, student publication North by Northwestern, and Northwestern University Dance Marathon."

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.

 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.

 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.

Liz Quinn, Research Assistant

Liz Quinn

Liz Quinn in a senior at Northwestern University where she studies psychology. After graduation, she plans to pursue a dual JD/PhD in social psychology. Liz is interested in how implicit biases and emotions effect decision making. Currently, Liz is investigating the association between implicit disgust and blame in hate crimes against gay men.

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.

 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. 

 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

Lab Alumni

Yaa Boakye, Research Assistant

Sirenia Sanchez, Research Assistant and SROP Fellow

Sierra Semko, Research Assistant

Elina Choi, Research Assistant

Katie Busch, Research Assistant


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.