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 son, 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

Elisa Rapadas, Graduate Student

Elisa Rapadas, Graduate Student

Elisa Rapadas (CV)

Elisa Rapadas is an incoming first year graduate student in the Social Psychology Phd program at Northwestern University under the advisement of Dr. Sylvia Perry. She was a Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) Fellow in the SCIP Lab in Summer 2018, where she studied the relationship between ostracism and gender stereotype-consistency with Dr. Allison Skinner.

She is interested in studying intragroup prejudice/colorism and anti-Black racism within Asian and Pacific Islander communities, and how stereotypes and bias are developed and transmitted between different cultural contexts.

She is currently a fourth year student at Saint Mary’s College of California majoring in Social Psychology, where she works as a Resident Advisor and Psychology Departmental Assistant. Her senior capstone, under the mentorship of Dr. Paul Zarnoth, tests how the importance of different identities can influence self-efficacy in women in STEM.

In her free time, she enjoys reading classic science fiction, watching movies on bargain days listening to NPR and indie rock (not at the same time), and baking.

Sirenia Sanchez, Graduate Student

Sirenia Sanchez, Graduate Student

Sirenia Sanchez 📧 (CV)

Sirenia Sanchez is a first year graduate student in the Social Psychology Ph.D. program at Northwestern University. She works in the SCIP lab under the advisement of Dr. Sylvia Perry, where she studies the psychological effects of and intergroup dynamics related to cultural appropriation, and intragroup discrimination/prejudice within the Latinx community.

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 talking with friends over beer, catching up on films she’s repeatedly been told to watch, and jogging (when it’s not cold outside). She also really enjoys cooking and is always open to hearing and trying out new recipes.

James Wages, Graduate Student

James Wages, M.S. 📧 (CV)

James is a third-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 Latinx 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 doctoral degree 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

Ala Jankowski, Research Assistant

Ala Jankowski, Research Assistant

Ala Jankowski

Ala is a second-year student at Northwestern University. She is majoring in Biology and Psychology, and minoring in Spanish. Ala is volunteering at SCIP to learn about the formation and manifestation of implicit biases as well as performing research in social psychology. She would love to study how implicit biases affect attraction to people of different identities, or how they affect our relationships as a whole. Ala is also interested in the intersection of psychology and biology: for example, what we can learn from physiological responses and their causes.

In her free time, Ala loves to paint, dabble in guitar, and explore music as a whole. On campus, Ala is a student supervisor at ARTica Studios, where she gets to express this creative side. She is also a Peer Adviser, serving as a mentor for new Northwestern students throughout their first year. Ala also volunteers with the New Life Volunteering Society, a health-focused group that serves the local Evanston and Chicago communities. In her sorority, she assists in planning community service events, designing merchandise, and advertising philanthropy events.

Allegra Maeso, Research Assistant

Allegra Maeso, Research Assistant

Allegra Maeso

Allegra Maeso is a third-year student at Northwestern University. She is majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in Spanish and Legal Studies. Allegra is volunteering at SCIP to gain a better understanding of the mental processes involved in bias and prejudice, and how these thoughts affect interactions with others. She is hoping to gain a better understanding of how research can be applied to change and educate people. Allegra is interested in studying racial biases in policing and hopes to ultimately engage in prison and criminal justice reform.

In her free time, Allegra enjoys playing basketball and going on roadtrips. On her bucket list is to drive to all 50 states. She also loves performing card magic, watching comedy, and walking her rescue yorkshire terrier, James. On campus, Allegra is involved in the student group Mixed Race Coalition, the women's club basketball team, and the Undergraduate Prison Education Program.

Bella Buccieri, Research Assistant

Bella Buccieri, Research Assistant

Bella Buccieri

Bella is a fourth-year pre-medical student at Northwestern University, pursuing a major in Neuroscience and a Sociology minor. Bella is very excited to join the SCIP lab as she is very interested in the connection between psychology and its biological responses. She feels that exploring this relationship between psychology and biology, as well as participating in research studies, will help her in her pursuit of medicine. Bella first discovered her interest in studying the development of implicit bias through her sociology classes at Northwestern and also believes that learning about these biases from a psychological standpoint will improve her understanding about them.  

Bella is also involved in her sorority as Assistant Vice President Member Education of her sorority as well as a member of the rowing team. Bella also enjoys service work, she is involved in her sorority’s philanthropy committee and a member of GreekBuild which is a service organization within the Greek community at Northwestern. In her free time, she can most likely be found catching up on her Netflix shows and enjoying the Downtown Evanston atmosphere with her friends.

Crystal Manjarrez, Research Assistant

Crystal Manjarrez, Research Assistant

Crystal Manjarrez

Crystal Manjarrez is a fourth-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.

Daniel Guajardo, Research Assistant

Daniel Guajardo, Research Assistant

Daniel Guajardo

Daniel is a third-year at Northwestern University pursuing a major in Psychology. Daniel is excited to be a part of SCIP Lab, where he is motivated to learn about and understand the different aspects behind stereotypes and social attitudes. He also hopes to gain a better understanding of the processes behind conducting research and interpreting and applying data. Some of Daniel's own research interests include how culture plays a role in the creation of implicit biases and the strength of groupthink.

In his free time, Daniel enjoys playing Rocket League and powerlifting. He also likes to discover new music and books, play the ukulele, and DM a Dungeon's and Dragons campaign for his buddies!

Fariha Ahmed, Research Assistant

Fariha Ahmed, Research Assistant

Fariha Ahmed

Fariha is a second year pre-medical student at Northwestern University majoring in Psychology. She is extremely grateful for the opportunity to join SCIP lab and is deeply interested in the interactions of identity within society as well as the effects of implicit and explicit biases in the social realm. She feels that working in the lab will give her a valuable opportunity to become involved in research that helps her better understand the world around her and  hopes to explore a similar line of research as related to healthcare services in the future. 

In her spare time Fariha enjoys swimming, painting, and indulging in Yelp-fueled visits to a diverse array of local coffee shops. Off campus, Fariha spends time managing her responsibilities as Outreach Chair at Hayat Clinic, a local charity clinic that provides that aims to provide completely free services to all, as well as managing her duties as the co-founder of ILM, an organization that attempts to provide underprivileged children with educational support. On campus, Fariha is a member of Community Health Corps, an organization that connects the local community to health resources and is a member of Phi-Delta-Epsilon, a pre-medical fraternity. 

Fiona Horner, Research Assistant

Fiona Horner, Research Assistant

Fiona Horner

Fiona is a current student of Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies Preclinical Psychology Program. She received her Bachelors of Arts from Colorado College where she majored in Anthropology and minored in Religion. As an undergraduate, Fiona studied the different roles that religion plays in distinct communities, and how these differences affect group cohesion. She also served as a research assistant for Dr. Esteban Gomez and his archaeological research on pre-Colombian sites in Costa Rica, and was awarded the H. Marie Wormington Award for her undergraduate achievements in Anthropology.

After graduation, Fiona spent time working in non-profit and pursuing her passion of long distance backpacking. Her interest in psychology developed as she searched for a way to more directly impact the lives of others. This led her to Northwestern’s post-baccalaureate program in Preclinical Psychology, which offered the ideal opportunity to change academic tracks. Fiona is thrilled to be expanding her understanding of the field by contributing to the fascinating work underway at the SCIP lab. She is especially interested in the subtle ways that sexism and discrimination affect achievement and motivation, how subtle biases are communicated between loved ones, and what factors contribute to empathy versus intolerance.

In her free time, Fiona enjoys volunteering at PAWS Chicago, going on urban bike adventures, sampling Chicago’s breweries, and hunting down the best vegan food in the city. 

Jahan Sahni, Research Assistant

Jahan Sahni, Research Assistant

Jahan Sahni

Jahan is a junior 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. 

Kelsey Phalen, Research Assistant

Kelsey Phalen, Research Assistant

Kelsey Phalen

Kelsey Phalen is an undergraduate student with a double major in Theatre and Psychology. Kelsey's general interests (in both art and research) involve exploring connections between people and the barriers that exist against that, conscious or otherwise. She is super excited about exploring the role of implicit bias through a research lens. 

Outside of the lab, Kelsey can be found working on student theatre productions as an actor, director, and costume designer. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys befriending every dog she comes across, going to concerts, and playing the Sims. 

Lynn Liu, Research Assistant

Lynn Liu, Research Assistant

Lynn Liu

Lynn Liu is currently working as a Senior Analyst in a consulting firm while trying to explore the social psychology world which she has discovered to be her true calling after synthesizing her interests. She is very grateful to be able to contribute to the SCIP lab utilizing her background in predictive analytics while learning research design methods in this field. She is interested in how bias awareness develops and the effective ways to reduce prejudice, believing that the more knowledge she can gain about the root cause of the current social issues, the more she can contribute to the society.  She is also interested in the intersections of social justice, machine learning, mindfulness, and meditation.

In her free time, she enjoys mindfulness practice, meeting people from different backgrounds, learning different music genres, playing tennis, appreciating nature, staying spontaneous, etc. She is motivated by “meaning and experience” in her life philosophy. 

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 fourth-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 fourth-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

Check out our alumni here.

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.