News

Does anger effect racial biases during a weapon identification task?

blurry photo of gunA group of UMass Amherst psychology researchers including PhD Candidate Adrian Rivera-Rodriguez, Senior Research Fellow Ahren Fitzroy, and Professors Nilanjana Dasgupta and Lisa Sanders examined how anger effects attention, inhibition, and error processing during a weapon identification task. Two groups of participants in the study, one displaying neutral emotion and another made to feel angry, were quickly shown an image of a Black or White, male or female face followed immediately by an image of either a weapon or harmless object. Participants were then prompted to identify the object.

Disbelief In Human Evolution Linked to Greater Prejudice And Racism

showing evolution of ape to man

UMass Amherst research findings consistent across countries, cultures, genders and religions

A disbelief in human evolution was associated with higher levels of prejudice, racist attitudes and support of discriminatory behavior against Blacks, immigrants and the LGBTQ community in the U.S., according to University of Massachusetts Amherst research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Dasgupta on National Academies Committee to Advance Anti-Racism in STEM

The interdisciplinary group of experts will offer best practices to foster DEI in organizations

Psychological and Brain Sciences Professor Nilanjana Dasgupta has been appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Advancing Antiracism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEM Organizations.

Graduate Diversity Committee Selects 2021-22 Undergraduate Travel Award Winners

We are pleased to announce that the Graduate Diversity Committee has selected the winners of the 2021-22 DivComm Undergraduate Travel Award. We would like to congratulate Elodie Carel and Yana Deeley on receiving the award! They will receive $200 each towards presenting their research at psychology conferences.

An Unexpected Spotlight

Sandy holding photo of himself as a young boyby ALEXANDER (SANDY) POLLATSEK

On 22 March 1948, Life magazine ran an article titled “Genius school,” about Hunter College Elementary School, then the only special elementary school in New York City for “gifted” children. Accompanying the article was a photograph of a 7-year-old boy with a chemistry book in hand, standing in front of a blackboard covered in chemistry equations. That little boy was me.

Remembering Alexander Pollatsek

Alexander PollatsekAlexander Pollatsek passed away peacefully at the Fisher Home on February 11, 2022.

Born on January 26, 1941 in New York City, Sandy attended the Bronx High School of Science and then the University of Michigan, graduating in 1961. After earning a master's degree in chemistry at Harvard University, he returned to Michigan in 1963 to enter the doctoral program in mathematical psychology and---happily, as it turned out---meet Harriet. They were married in 1964. In Ann Arbor he worked against the war in Vietnam, including as one of the organizers of the first teach-in in 1965.

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.

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