Interests in Diversity and Diversity Science Across Northwestern Psychology

American society and the world in general are becoming increasingly diverse. Important challenges facing human civilization are to develop an understanding of how best to embrace the myriad ways in which we are diverse and to actualize this understanding in ways that foster common goods and establish diversity as a human strength. As an intellectual discipline and health service profession, psychology is well-suited to address this challenge and to exert leadership. We consider human diversity as referring to groups of people who experience themselves as differing on one or more of the following dimensions: race, culture, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, economic class, and disability status.

The interests in diversity of faculty and students of Northwestern Psychology take many forms. We seek to promote diversity and cultural competence in research, teaching, professional training, and representation among faculty and students. We are working to increase participation by members of under-represented or disadvantaged groups in our programs and in the science, practice, and teaching of psychology. We seek ways to facilitate the optimal development of people from groups that have been historically disadvantaged or oppressed. We are also working to develop Northwestern Psychology as a center for research on diversity science. This page highlights aspects of all of these department-wide pursuits.

Diversity Science

We are actively working to build a group of faculty and students who study the psychological processes related to diversity. This encompasses the psychological effects of increased diversity, as well as the effects of its absence. Research topics include stereotypes, prejudice, and cultural-specific perceptions and characteristics of individuals. Diversity science also encompasses research on health disparities and research with diverse communities. Research topics include studies of mental health and normative and non-normative social and psychological development among people of color, especially at-risk populations. Present faculty with efforts in these directions include:

• Doug Medin (Culture and cognition, decision making)
• Michael Bailey (Sexual orientation and evolutionary psychology)
• Galen Bodenhausen (Attitudes and social cognition; diversity)
• Joan Chiao (Social, cultural, and affective neuroscience)
• Wendi Gardner (The social self, belonging, emotion)
• Jennifer Richeson (Prejudice, social stigma, social neuroscience)

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