I am currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Hartford and recently completed my dissertation in Social Psychology at the University of Rochester. I was formerly a member of the Social Stress Lab directed by Dr. Jeremy Jamieson. My research examines the consequences and underlying processes of social group disparities, as well as the consequences and antecedents of intergroup competition. I take a multi-method approach, leveraging self-report, census data, and physiological measurement (ECG, IMP) to more deeply understand how experiencing inequalities and competition influences downstream perceptions, performance, and health outcomes.
1. Racial Income Inequality
Income inequality between Black and White individuals is a massive social issue. My work in this domain examines the relationships between racial income gaps at the local-area (i.e. ZIP Code) and negative intergroup perceptions, with a focus on perceived intergroup competition as a psychological mechanism by which this inequality gets in our heads. My ongoing work on this topic aims to examine:
– the causal role of perceived race-based inequalities on intergroup psychological outcomes.
– the effects of resource inequality in same-race and cross-race competitive contexts on physiological and behavioral outcomes.
– the association between racial income inequality and other race-based societal-level outcomes (e.g., Black-White hate crimes).
2. Intergroup Competition
A branch of my work focuses on 1) the causal role of perceived Black-White intergroup competition on negative intergroup outcomes and 2) the sociodemographic and societal-level antecedents of perceived Black-White competition. My work on the first examines the consequences of manipulating census feedback on negative intergroup perceptions. Regarding the second, some of my recent work leveraged the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and examined whether the onset of this disease increased perceptions of intergroup competition and negative intergroup outcomes. Ongoing work in this area of research aims to:
– elucidate how racial income inequality and perceived intergroup competition causally impact each other in the context of Black-White intergroup relations.
– examine additional local-area predictors of Black-White competition.
3. Negative Interpersonal Interactions
My work on negative interpersonal interactions (i.e. interpersonal conflict), which is grounded in psychophysiological measurements and relies on the organizing theoretical frameworks provided by the biopsychosocial (BPS) model of challenge and threat, examines 1) the effects of negative self-disclosure scenarios and 2) the consequences of interpersonal disagreements of beliefs, opinions, and values. This work utilizes immersive paradigms to examine physiological, affective, and behavioral responses, and speaks to the difficulty of “crossing the aisle” to promote civility and compromise.
4. Social Mobility
Some of my recent work has focused on examining the effects of social mobility on psychological outcomes, including perceptions of system justification and support for economic inequality. This work employs an economic-based farming simulator to foster the experience of mobility in order to capture in vivo attitudes and perceptions.