The Society for the
Study of Social Issues

Media Advisory, Press Briefing on Race and Immigration at Charlotte 2012

Find out what new psychological research says about attitudes toward race and ethnicity, immigration, and presidential elections
9th Biennial Conference of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)
PRESS BRIEFING: Race/Ethnicity, Immigration, and Presidential Elections (Saturday, June 23rd; 12.30pm-Juniper Room)
Implicit racism leaves safety concerns for airport passenger screening 
Rob Foels, University of Connecticut 
According to research by Rob Foels, institutional policies that prohibit racial profiling may not be successful until the further impact of implicit racism is tackled. Racial profiling involves a conscious, deliberate process but implicit biases, which can lead to errors in important tasks such as airport passenger screening, are rarely accounted for in law enforcement practice. Dr. Foels will present his recent studies on implicit racism and discuss what should be done by the air transportation industry. 
Racial profiling policies must stay anchored in science
Jack Glaser, University of California, Berkeley
Conference Keynote speaker, Jack Glaser, will speak about the importance of linking psychological science with policies related to racial profiling. Drawing on his experience in psychological research and policy analysis, he will discuss what policymakers and psychologists can do to reduce bias and discrimination in law enforcement.
Attitudes to immigration divided by different understandings of justice
Todd Lucas, Wayne State University
Another red/blue divide, immigration attitudes are frequently explained by appeals to justice by both sides. But is this simply a selective use of facts, a personality difference, or something else? According to Todd Lucas, individuals become harsher in their attitudes towards immigrants when they believe in justice by fair outcomes for individuals rather than justice by fair treatment. Dr. Lucas will present his findings and their implications for immigration policy.
African-Americans are only moderately inspired by Barak Obama success
Luis Rivera, Rutgers University
The election of Barack Obama as the first African-American President of the United States was widely received as a huge boost to the self-concept of African-Americans, but research by Luis Rivera suggests that it depends on how African-Americans feel about their ethnic identity. Dr. Rivera’s findings provide a new angle to our understanding of identity politics in the months leading up to the US Presidential Election.
Labeling as Latino fades for non-Spanish speakers 
Diana Sanchez, Rutgers University 
New research from Diana Sanchez to be published in Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology finds that Spanish-speaking aides Latino self-identification while lacking fluency in Spanish can lead to feelings of rejection and non-Latino self-identification. The findings suggest that, while the number of Americans with Latino backgrounds is growing, how those individuals see themselves within the Latino community and the multi-ethnic landscape of the US is more complex than previously understood.
Free press registration for the conference and the press briefings is at
Related sessions at the conference on healthcare and social disparities can be found here.
Founded in 1936, The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) is a group of over 3000 scientists from psychology and related fields and others who share a common interest in research on the psychological aspects of important social and policy issues. In various ways, SPSSI seeks to bring theory and practice into focus on human problems of the group, the community, and nations, as well as the increasingly important problems that have no national boundaries.
Contact: Alex Ingrams, SPSSI Policy Coordinator,, 202-675-6956. Reply with ‘Unsubscribe’ in the subject line if you no longer wish to receive media communications from SPSSI.

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Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin