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.

Siqi Feng is a masters student in Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests mainly focus on the processes through which intergroup contact shapes social perception and attitudes. She examines how factors such as empathy, perspective taking and cognitive style play a role in those processes, particularly as they pertain to indirect contact with minorities. She is also interested in social identity and mental health of sexual minority groups.
Zayd Jawad is an undergraduate majoring in Communication and minoring in Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign  He is interested in investigating the interplay of cognitive and emotional processes in intergroup relations in order to promote greater trust, cooperation, and reconciliation. His current research examines the influence of trust metaperceptions on actual trust levels between liberals and conservatives. 


Pete Ondish is currently a postdoctoral scholar with 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. In his free time he enjoys rock climbing, tacos, and watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

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.

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