Our Lab Team

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
– African Proverb

Principal Investigator

Dr. Valerie Jones Taylor 🗎

Broadly, my research centers on exploring two sides of an issue that educators and policy makers have struggled to untangle—why and when “diversity” (and with it, greater intergroup and interracial contact) might hurt or help individuals and institutions. Much research has shown the benefits of diversity across domains, in schools, workplaces, and even neighborhoods. However, with increasing diversity and greater contact among individuals with different social identities comes the possibility that people might experience social identity threat—the concern or worry that one may be treated or judged negatively based on one’s social group membership. Thus, as diversity and intergroup contact increases, pressing identity-related questions soon arise.

Addressing this issue, across several lines of research, I seek to answer various identity-related questions, particularly when negative group stereotypes are salient. For example, why are high potential women’s and minorities’ performance undermined in academic and workplace contexts where they are underrepresented and negatively stereotyped? Why do coworkers of different racial backgrounds sometimes have difficult interactions, which can derail their ability to perform well and work effectively together? As our nation continues to diversify, why do negative stereotypes about the spaces occupied by racial group members continue to disadvantage minority neighborhoods and bias policy? And, most importantly, what strategies can be leveraged to reduce the opportunity gap, improve inter-group relations, and promote more equitable policy-making at both the individual and institutional level? In my work, I draw on theories such as social identity threat, and apply frameworks such as models of stress and coping and social cognitive inter-group processes, to answer such questions that loom large for those working to implement successful diversity strategies to reduce inequities and promote positive social change.

Graduate Students

Juan Valladares 🗎
Graduate Student
I am a graduate student in the Social Psychology Ph.D. program at Lehigh University. I work under the advisement of Dr. Valerie Jones Taylor. My research interests revolve around interracial and interracial interactions as they are affected by stereotypes, prejudice, in-group bias, etc. Relatedly, I am interested in how understanding socio-cultural contexts can contribute to positive experiences in intergroup contact situations and toward reducing inequities. I want to address some of the cross-cultural gaps concerning group behavior, stereotypes, and racial attitudes- especially as these phenomena apply to areas and groups that have been underrepresented in the literature.

Claire Siepser 🗎
Affiliated Graduate Student
I am a graduate student in the Counseling and Human Services program at Lehigh University. In addition to the Stereotyping & Social Interactions (SSI) lab, I am also working in the Resistance Lab studying gender-based violence and in the Study Abroad Office. My research interests are intersectionality, non-binary gender, adult games and play, humor, power dynamics, sex and sexuality, and social justice.
I graduated with a B.A. in French Literature from Reed College, an M.A. in Printmaking and M.F.A. in Book Arts from the University of Alabama. I like to go mushroom hunting, cook, garden, play games, read, hike, and fight systemic injustices in my free time.

Research Assistants

Psychology Team

Coding Team

Allison Graham

Allison is a junior undergraduate student at Lehigh University majoring in Psychology with minors in HMS and Sociology and Anthropology.

Joyce Park

Joyce is a sophomore undergraduate student at Lehigh University majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience and minoring in Psychology.

Matthew Clark

Matthew is a junior undergraduate student at Lehigh University  who is pursuing a B.S. in Computer Engineering.

Hannah is a junior undergraduate student at Lehigh University pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Spanish.

Courteney Parry

Courteney is a junior undergraduate student at Lehigh University who is double majoring in Psychology and Sociology.

Sara is a senior undergraduate student at DeSales University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Computer Science.

Spencer is a sophomore undergraduate student at Lehigh University pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science and Business.

Michaela Lewis

Michaela is a senior undergraduate student at Lehigh University who is pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science.

Myunggee Sung

Myunggee is a senior undergraduate student at Lehigh University who is pursuing a degree in Psychology.

Nick is a junior undergraduate student at Lehigh University pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Design in Lehigh’s IDEAS program.

Swetha Ramesh

Swetha is a junior undergraduate student at Lehigh University who is pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science and Business.

Lab Alumni

Caitlyn Yantis, Ph.D
Postdoc/Research Associate

JohnDerek Daniels
Coding Team

Romeo Bahoumda
Coding Team

Arleene Castillo
Psychology Team

Garrett Rosenboom
Psychology Team

Khalid Khamis
Lab Manager

Emily Tasik
Psychology Team

Mya Tucker
Psychology Team