Social Perception: Origins, Mechanisms, and Consequences
Graduate student lines of research include investigating the social psychological consequences of the perceptions of femininity and masculinity as it relates to intersectional identities within social groups based on race, sex, sexuality, and gender expression.
Specifically, graduate student James Wages investigates how perceptions of masculinity differ by target race, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation in relation to estimating a target's "riskiness" and the downstream consequences in real world domains, such as social group disparities in health and healthcare, education, and criminal justice. Currently, he is interested in whether healthcare providers operate, perhaps implicitly, a masculine-risk bias toward racial and sexual minorities when making healthcare recommendations, potentially contributing to the racial and sexual minorities health and healthcare gap. In other lines of research, James is interested how these masculine-risk perceptions may create risk-related stereotypes that perhaps invoke threat among sexual minorities in health and healthcare contexts, potentially increasing their risk of HIV infection. Additionally, James is interested in the role of experienced stigma and narrative identity in predicting intragroup prejudice among stigmatized groups (e.g., the normative emergence of anti-fat, anti-femme, and anti-Asian/Black biases among gay men manifested as mating "preferences").