The Contact Conundrum

hands waving in the airIndividuals’ experiences as group members can dramatically impact their interpretations and expectations of experiences with members of other groups. To explore the science behind this, Association for Psychological Science President Jennifer L. Eberhardt interviewed Linda R. Tropp, a professor of social psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who studies how group differences in status affect cross-group relations.

Winter 2022 Newsletter

students running on a sunny winter day

Catch up with the latest PBS news including spotlights on our talented students, faculty, and alumni!

Read full issue

Features include:

  • Working through life challenges using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Research examines the role of psychotherapists in treatment effectiveness
  • Studying the psychology of political divides, featuring 2021 Rising Researcher Mackenzie Smith
  • Grad Student Office Update
  • Spotlight on Alumni
    • Kevin McGrath '13, Product Designer at 2U
    • Christine Brydges '11, UX Researcher at Noom

Also check out additional Research Highlights, Awards and Updates, and PBS faculty and students In the Media!

Graduate Student Office Update

new desks, chairs, and shelvesThis spring semester, graduate students received a much needed upgrade to their office furniture and student lounge. Old furniture from Tobin Hall's inception in the 1970s was replaced with brand-new functional and ergonomic pieces. We want to to thank our staff members for their hard work in making this happen!

Shannon Gair and Sarah McCormick awarded Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Shannon Gair
Shannon Gair
Sarah McCormick
Sarah McCormick

Shannon Gair and Sarah McCormick have been awarded Dissertation Completion Fellowships funded by the Graduate School with additional support from the Provost’s Office.

The Dissertation Completion Fellowship was designed by Dean of the Graduate School Jacqueline Urla to help students complete their dissertation after Covid-related disruptions. “Our graduate students have faced so many challenges due to Covid, from loss of access to labs and archives, having to redesign their research, care for small children, and even battling Covid themselves. Despite these challenges they have persevered. This fellowship gives recipients a semester to focus on their research and writing, bring their dissertation to completion, and earn their degree,” said Urla.

Is the sharing of resources between children influenced by racial stereotypes?

children sort puzzle pieces

Tara Mandalaywala, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences, featured in PsyPost article. 

From "Children more willing to share with White than Black peers, and this may be driven by racial stereotypes about wealth"

A study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology found that children were more likely to share their resources with White children than Black children. The effect did not appear to be motivated by in-group bias nor by feelings of warmth toward White children, but by a stereotype that White people are wealthier than Black people.

Normalization of the Alt-Right: How perceived prevalence and acceptability of the Alt-Right is linked to public attitudes

American being waved by a person

In a recent project published in Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, Social Psychology alumna Hema Preya Selvanathan ‘19PhD and Associate Professor Bernard Leidner PhD explored how the public is responding to the rise of far-right movements within the United States.