Lab Members

Lab Director
Chadly Stern is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His research broadly examines how belief systems and motivations guide the way that people perceive and interact with the world. One central line of work concerns how political belief systems (e.g., whether a person is liberal or conservative) shape the way in which people evaluate and categorize others based on group membership (e.g., race, sex, and sexual orientation). Another line of work examines consensus in political groups, and the implications of both perceived and actual attitude consensus for individual behavior (e.g., voting) and large-scale societal outcomes (e.g., levels of societal stability).

Julia Spielmann received her BSc in Psychology from Humboldt University in Berlin and MSc in Health and Social Psychology from Maastricht University before pursuing a PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is interested in understanding issues related to intergroup relations. Her current research examines how social categories (race, sexual orientation, and gender) shape the way people perceive and categorize others. More information about Julia can be found here.


Andrea Kunze received a Bachelor’s of Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Learning & Development from Georgia State University and an MS in Educational Psychology from NC State University. She is currently at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign working on her PhD in Educational Psychology, focusing on topics related to perception and engagement in learning spaces. Her current research explores the cognitive and social factors that shape students perceptions of racial discrimination in higher education spaces.


Yarden Ashur received her B.A. in Behavioural Science and her M.A. in Social Psychology from Ben Gurion University in Israel before pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is interested in mind perception strategies in the context of intergroup relations and social categories.


Salvador Vargas Salfate received a BA in Sociology from Universidad de Chile and an MA in Psychology from New York University. He is currently a PhD student in Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on political ideology and legitimation of inequality, and their relationships with ingroup and national identities, intergroup processes, and contextual factors.


Siqi Feng received her MS in Psychological Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is currently a PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Programme at Nanyang Technological University. Her research interests mainly focus on the processes through which intergroup contact shapes social perception and attitudes.
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Zayd Jawad received his BA majoring in Communication and minoring in Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is currently a PhD student in Business Administration at Washington University in St. Louis. He is interested in investigating the interplay of cognitive and emotional processes in intergroup relations in order to promote greater trust, cooperation, and reconciliation.
Pete Ondish received his PhD in Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is currently a research scientist at the Center for Social and Behavioral Science at UIUC. His research focuses mainly on social class and political cultures. More specifically, he investigates 1) how political ideology shapes perceptions of hierarchy and social class, 2) how ideological groups develop consensus and what the implications are of political consensus for society, and 3) working and middle class cultural differences.
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Kaitlin Ratcliff is a junior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a major in Psychology and a minor in Criminology, Law, and Society. She is in the Psychology Honors Program where she is currently working on her undergraduate thesis. Her research interests are topics related to political ideology, social cognition, morality, and legal psychology. Her current research explores how an individual’s political ideology influences their perception of jury decision-making as well as to what degree moralization of consensus plays a role in how liberals and conservatives perceive jury consensus.