Research

Research Approach. Prejudice and violence are inextricably linked to the maintenance of the status quo.  Objectification, aggression, and confronting illustrate just some of the means by which prejudice and violence may serve to reinforce or challenge existing power differences between social groups.  My approach to research examines the relationship between prejudice and violence using perspectives from social psychology, law psychology, cognitive psychology, clinical/counseling psychology, neuroscience, and women’s studies. This focus has allowed me to ask several related, but distinct questions of both theoretical and practical importance regarding such areas as workplace discrimination, relationship aggression, academic performance, politics, disordered eating, and mental health just to name a few. Furthermore, in my work, I focus on the “social” aspects of prejudice and aggression. As a result of this focus, my research participants often engage in actual or imagined interactions with other people in my experiments.  This is a feature that differentiates my work from most contemporary research on prejudice and violence. By taking this approach, I have been able to simultaneously examine (a) the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of people who perpetrate prejudice and violence and (b) the consequences for targets of these experiences.

Current Interests

1) Sexual harassment at work and school

2) Relationship aggression (sexual violence, intimate partner violence, bullying)

2) Alcohol-involved sexual assault on college campuses

3) Instrumentality

4) Basic cognitive processes underlying objectification and dehumanization

5) Exploitation of women and men at work

6) Policy and legal implications of discrimination and violence

7) Girls and women’s goals and agency in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) domains

Please contact me, sgervais2@unl.edu, for more information about specific projects.

Pies & Pints 2012 (2)

Team

I am extremely fortunate to work with a fabulous team of graduate students including: Gwen Nuss, Abbey Riemer, Kate Kimble, Katlyn Farnum, Mark Mills, Ena Brnjic, and Michelle Haikalis.

If you are a potential graduate student interested in joining my lab or applying to the social or law-psych graduate programs at the University of Nebraska-Lincon, please find more information here.

Several exceptionally talented undergraduates also work on the team.

If you are an undergraduate student and you would like to join the Subtle Prejudice Lab team, please contact me, sgervais2@unl.edu, for an application. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and interviews are conducted at the beginning of each semester. Lab meetings are held in Burnett Hall on Mondays from 5:30-6:00 p.m.  If you join the team, you will gain experience with research design and methodology, data collection, entry, and analyses, and research reports (papers and presentations).  You may participant for independent course credit, Psyc 299/499. I also accept UCARE and McNair students.

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