Join | Login

SPSSI at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh

Café Psychology
Thursday, June 28, 2018


Keith Maddox, PhD   Mary C. Murphy, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Tufts University Social Cognition (TUSC) Lab at Tufts University   Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Associate Vice Provost for Student Diversity and Inclusion at Indiana University
Title of Presentation   Title of Presentation
Let's Talk About Race: The Science of Bias   Creating Contexts That Support Gender and Racial Diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)

Please scroll down for more information on the presenters and their presentations.

Let’s Talk about Race: The Science of Bias

About the presentation: For some people, the question of racial bias in the United States isn’t a question: It’s a fact. But others can have a hard time seeing this perspective. For those who seek to bridge this divide, interracial contact and dialogue has the potential to foster the exchange of ideas and perspectives that lead to productive and sustainable solutions. However, despite our best intentions, bias can get in the way of productive dialogue. This presentation will explore the concept of bias from a scientific perspective, discuss some of the challenges it presents for race relations, and consider strategies to mitigate its impact. An informed approach to racial bias can help us understand how to bring our behavior in line with our egalitarian ideals.

About the presenter: Keith Maddox earned his A.B. in Psychology from the University of Michigan, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Tufts University and the Director of the Tufts University Social Cognition (TUSC) Lab. His research and teaching are focused on exploring social cognitive aspects of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination.  The long-range goal of this work is to further the understanding of the representation of stereotypic knowledge and its implications for the behavior and treatment of members of stereotyped groups. He has served as the Special Advisor to the Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Tufts, and has founded an initiative at Tufts that seeks to bring social science evidence to bear on the development and evaluation of programs designed to address the challenges and opportunities associated with diversity, climate, and inclusion in organizations.

Creating Contexts That Support Gender and Racial Diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)

About the presentation: The cues hypothesis, a central tenet of the contextual approach to social identity threat, posits that subtle situational cues can trigger threat, even in the absence of overt prejudice or discrimination. The present research uses the cues hypothesis to investigate the psychological, motivational, and performance effects of several situational cues for women in STEM settings.  Specifically, we will examine how numerical representation, and the mindset culture in a classroom, shape women and people of color’s experiences in STEM. We will explore how situational cues influence people’s sense of belonging, interpersonal concerns, and performance in STEM. Results underscore the importance of examining the meaning that people draw from multiple situational cues to better understand the psychological experiences and outcomes of stigmatized individuals in mainstream settings.

About the presenter: Dr. Mary Murphy is an Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Associate Vice Provost for Student Diversity and Inclusion at Indiana University. Her research focuses on understanding how people’s social identities and group memberships, such as their gender, race, and socio-economic status, interact with the contexts they encounter to affect people’s thoughts, feelings, motivation, and performance. In the realm of education, her research illuminates the situational cues that influence students’ academic motivation and achievement with an emphasis on understanding barriers and solutions for increasing gender and racial diversity in STEM fields. She develops, implements, and evaluates social psychological interventions that reduce identity threat for students and examines their effects on motivation, persistence, and performance. Dr. Murphy is a co-founder of the College Transition Collaborative, a research-practice partnership aimed to increase student success through social psychological interventions. She is the recipient of over $8 million in federal and foundation grants including a recent $2.2 million NSF CAREER award for her research on strategies to improve diversity in STEM. Her research has been profiled in The New York Times, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American, and NPR, among other outlets.

Questions? Please contact SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll  |  (202) 675-6902)