My research contributes to knowledge of how stereotyped judgments of emotion perpetuate inequality, how psychology and intersectionality theory can be integrated, and how we can effectively intervene to inform diversity initiatives and create social change. With dual training in social psychology and women’s studies, I approach my research from an interdisciplinary perspective, fusing elements of social psychology (e.g., experimental methods, stereotyping, emotion theories) with women’s studies theories and methodological approaches (e.g., intersectionality theory, focus groups, thematic analysis).
Gender stereotypes about emotion: Beliefs about emotion are often gendered, such as beliefs that “women are overly emotional” and that “men don’t cry.” In my work, I emphasize intersectionality to connect stereotyped judgments of emotion to social group hierarchy. Research on gender and emotion primarily reflects people’s beliefs about certain women and men (i.e., women and men with other unmarked, dominant identities; e.g., White, young). In contrast, intersectionality theory conceives of people as having multiple social group memberships (e.g., gender, race, sexual orientation, class) that are not mutually exclusive, but that rather constitute one another to form a particular position from which a person experiences the world (e.g., heterosexual working-class Latina). Importantly, intersectionality reveals connections between group memberships and structural power relations (e.g., gendered racism). With such an approach, I examine how stereotyped beliefs about people experiencing emotion sustain social group inequality.
Integrating intersectionality with psychology: Relatedly, I develop methods and best practices for research to integrate intersectionality and psychology.
Interdisciplinary interventions: Many implemented interventions are rarely grounded in learning theories that explain why they are effective. However, testing the theoretical mechanisms of interventions is necessary to isolate effective elements to be adapted for other contexts and populations. Therefore, I collaborate with other departments and community partners to integrate psychology’s evaluative techniques with theories from other disciplines (e.g., experiential learning theory from education). My intervention research spans developing bias inventions in STEM, business, K-12 schools, and the legal workplace.