Social Perception, Bias, and Identity
Currently, graduate student lines of research include investigating the social psychological processes involved with social perception, bias, and identity as related to prominent intersectional social identities and group memberships. These social identities and memberships are based on several social groups, including race, sex, sexuality, gender expression, and class.
Graduate student James Wages primarily investigates how perceptions of "risk-taking" differ by race, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status (from both target and perceiver perspectives) and the mechanisms responsible for these perceptions (e.g., associations of masculinity, hardship, Big Two traits). More broadly, James questions whether perceivers confuse "at-risk" targets with being "risk-taking." Further, James is interested in downstream consequences of risk-taking stereotypes in real world domains, such as social group disparities in health and healthcare, criminal justice, and education.
In another line of research, James is interested in the role of experienced stigma and identity in predicting intragroup prejudice among stigmatized groups: What makes disadvantaged groups stand in solidarity versus derogate one another? This is particularly interesting in the context of interracial dating among gay men, which the normative emergence of anti-fat, anti-femme, and anti-Asian/Black biases has manifested as mating "preferences" (i.e., "no fats, no femmes, no Asians").