Welcome to the Interpersonal Perception and Social Cognition Laboratory
Lab Director: Dr. Jennifer Steele

The Interpersonal Perception and Social Cognition (IPSC) laboratory is housed in the Behavioural Sciences Building at York University in Toronto, Ontario.†This laboratory is part of the Psychology Department in the Faculty of Health at York University.† We conduct research that focuses on understanding the development of bias, including racial bias and gender stereotyping in childhood and adolescence, as well as the consequences of these biases in adulthood.†This research is conducted primarily from a social cognitive perspective.

One line of research is specifically focused on how we can challenge racial biases across development. In another main line of research, being conducted as part of a larger consortium of researchers, we aim to understand the early development of academic stereotypes, including gender stereotypes in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). We are particularly interested in understanding how we can enhance traditionally underrepresented students' sense of belonging and ultimately their achievement and representation in various academic contexts. You can learn more about the research being done on this topic through the Engendering Success in STEM (ESS) website.

Some of our research takes an intersectional approach, recognizing the unique experiences of discrimination that people can face based on their multiple identities. Other lines of research aim to better understand when racial and gender biases are more and less likely to be expressed. A number of our studies make use of implicit measures, including the Implicit Association Test (IAT). To learn more about this measure, you can visit Project Implicit where Dr. Steele is currently on the Scientific Advisory Board.

Researchers in this laboratory include faculty, graduate students, thesis and independent study students, as well as multiple paid and volunteer research assistants.†The lab director is Dr. Jennifer Steele, a Professor in Social Psychology at York University.†Our research, which is conducted with adult and child participants, has been funded by various external and internal sources including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Faculty of Health, the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies, and York University.

As a lab, we recognize that systemic racism serves as a substantial and ongoing barrier to equity, diversity, and inclusion. We realize that this is particularly the case for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC). We further recognize the importance and value of supporting students who face systemic barriers based on race, religion, gender or gender identity, SES, physical or mental disabilities, age, country of origin or immigration status, and including those from LGBTQ2+ communities.

We strive to create a lab culture that values, respects, and supports each studentís perspectives and contributions, and that aims to ensure that each lab member is able to reach their full research potential. We believe that diversity enriches our lab and we particularly encourage students from the communities noted above to apply to join us.

The administration at York University shares this vision. You can find resources designed to support the fight against discrimination through the Calumet College website. Calumet College is the on-campus undergraduate community affiliated with the Department of Psychology at York University.

If you would like to learn more about our research, or would like to learn how you can get involved, please follow the links above and below.

Read a November 2017 Y-file article about the lab's research by clicking here.

Read a September 2019 Y-file article about the lab's research by clicking here.

Read a CBC article about our findings by clicking here.

See Dr. Steele's CV by clicking here.

Follow Dr. Steele on twitter @steeleje123.

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© 2007 Jennifer Steele, Ph.D., York University.                For information about this website please contact Christina Lapytskaia at clapy@yorku.ca                Last updated: 2022-08-31