Chadly Stern is an Associate 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).
Brenda Straka is a postdoctoral fellow in the Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholars Program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Social Psychology from Duke University and her B.A. in Psychology and Cognitive Science with a minor in English from the University of Virginia.
Broadly, she studies the ways people navigate exclusion and discrimination and construct social identities across multiple group memberships throughout the lifespan. In one line of her research, she explores the ways historically marginalized and underrepresented groups (e.g., Multiracial, Latino/a/x, Native American people, first-generation students) experience exclusion and negotiate their group-based identities. In a second line of work, she studies the developmental cognitive foundations of understanding group membership and identity.
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Meisam Vahedi is a Social and Personality Psychology postdoctoral fellow at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Social Psychology from the University of Houston. He also holds an M.A. in Religion from Florida International University, an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Tehran, and a B.Sc. in Metallurgy Engineering from the University of Tehran.
Broadly, he studies close relationship functioning and the strategies people may apply to buffer against psychological needs threats. In one line of his research, he examines how attachment orientations and personality characteristics influence relationship functioning. In another line of research, he studies the negative effects that threats to belonging needs (e.g., rejection, exclusion) may impose on mental and physical health and the possible ways (e.g., using symbolic social bonds) to mitigate such adverse effects.
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 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 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.
Julia Spielmann received her PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently a Postdoctoral Associate in Psychology at New York University Abu Dhabi. She is interested in understanding issues related to intergroup relations.
Andrea Kunze received her PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education and Psychology at Delta State University. Her research explores the cognitive and social factors that shape students perceptions of racial discrimination in higher education spaces.
Hanxiong Guan received his MS in Psychological Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is currently a PhD student in Marketing at University of Washington.
Kaitlin Ratcliff received her BA from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a major in Psychology and minor in Criminology, Law, and Society. She was in the Psychology Honors Program. Her research interests are topics related to political ideology, social cognition, morality, and legal psychology.