People

Principal Investigator

Keith Maddox

Keith Maddox, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychology, Tufts University
Director, Tufts University Social Cognition Lab

Faculty Profile  Curriculum Vitae

Graduate Students

Muna Akhtar

Muna Akhtar

Education

PhD Expected 2021, Tufts University, Social Psychology
Adviser: Dr. Keith B. Maddox
MS 2017, Tufts University, Social Psychology
Adviser: Dr. Jessica Remedios
BS 2014, Loyola University Chicago
Major: Psychology

Background and Research Interests

Muna's research interests include understanding complex experiences of compound discrimination through an intersectional lens (specifically, the intersection of racism and sexism), identifying factors that affect at woman's willingness to confront discrimination, and how to create conditions under which women and minorities may thrive. Muna is especially interested in sexism-focused research. Researchers have found that sexism is generally treated less seriously than racism, and Muna aims to challenge this perspective (Czopp, Monteith, & Mark, 2006; Rasinski & Czopp, 2010). Many forms of sexism affect women daily and Muna's research is focused on combating sexist interactions, expanding conversations about the sexism that women face daily, and gaining a clearer understanding of how sexism may present itself. Finally, Muna hopes to be a role model for women from multiply-stigmatized backgrounds such as Muna's, as a woman of color.

Curriculum Vitae

Sanjana Kadirvel

Sanjana Kadirvel

Education

PhD Expected 2025, Tufts University, Social Psychology
Adviser: Dr. Keith B. Maddox
BS 2018, UMass Amherst
Major: Psychology

Background and Research Interests

Sanjana is a 2nd year PhD student with the TUSC lab. She graduated from UMass Amherst in 2018 with a BS in Psychology. Sanjana researches the role of humor in interracial interactions and studies if the presence of humor can help facilitate positive interactions and boost activism in young adults. 

Curriculum Vitae

Milexus Milton

Mi'Lexus Milton

Background: While attending the University of Washington, Mi'Lexus conducted research as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. She graduated with a dual degree, majoring in both Communication and Psychology, with a minor in Diversity Studies. 
Research Interest: Interested in intergroup conflict reduction, civic engagement, and how social psychology could be used to advance and better inform social policy.
Future Plans: Research and social policy analysis

Research Assistants

Francesca deMarneffe

Francesca deMarneffe

Background: Francesca is a rising senior at Tufts University majoring in Clinical Psychology and Sociology. Her ultimate career goals are to become a practicing clinical psychologist and to do research that relates to both clinical and social psychology.
Research Interest: She is interested in studying how we perceive and interact with people of different races and genders, in addition to the social factors that contribute to psychological disorders.

Sophie Pollock

Sophie Pollock

Research Interest: Sophie’s research interests include studying the social cognitive aspects of stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination, particularly in terms of encouraging interracial interaction. Additionally, Sophie is interested in the development of social decision making, especially among children across the United States.
Future Plans: Research and Teaching

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

Background: Sarah is a senior studying clinical psychology major at Tufts.
Research Interest: She is interested in understanding how other's perspectives impact an individual's psyche and is also interested in studying personality disorders.
Future Plans: Sarah's future goal is to attend a clinical psychology Ph.D. program so she can become a practicing clinician and university-level lecturer.

Jailekha Zutshi

Jailekha Zutshi

Research Interest: Jailekha is interested in studying the many effects of prejudice and bias in daily life. More specifically, she is curious about the ramifications of mind perception and how this may be impacted by people’s identities, as well as the default nature of privileged identities such as masculinity and whiteness.
Future Plans: She plans to apply to graduate school in social psychology and eventually be a professor and researcher in the field.

Jocelyn Chin

Jocelyne Chin

Background: Jocelyne is currently a junior at Cornell University studying Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR), and plans to complete a Master’s degree in ILR.

Research Interest: Jocelyne is interested in both studying and affecting change in the behavior of groups and organizations with a particular emphasis on the effects of increasing diversity and equity.

Ragini Jain

Ragini Jain

Background: Ragini is a rising senior at tufts double majoring in Psychology and Economics.

Research Interest: She is interested in social cognition concepts such as bias and stereotyping and wants to research these topics to further their understanding and develop strategies to reduce their threats.
Future Plans: She wants to pursue more research and get in the field of education in the future.

Suzune Montag

Suzune Montag

Background: Suzune Montag is a rising sophomore at Tufts University majoring in Child Studies & Human Development and Education.
Research Interest: Her research interests include stereotype threat, and how it’s findings can be applied to create more equitable school curriculums in the US. For the past several years, Suzune has also been a part of Sparks Within Reach, a grassroots nonprofit aiming to tackle educational inequity in the South Bronx through tutoring and mentorship.
Future Plans: In the future, Suzune hopes to continue to work with and uplift youth in her beloved community of New York City.

Zahra Rizvi

Zahra Rizvi

Background: Zahra is a senior at Tufts studying clinical psychology on a premed track.
Research Interest: She’s interested in the intersection of spirituality and mental health, and how she can apply a background in psychology to a future career in healthcare.

Mohamed Samater

Mohamed Samater

Research Interests: Mohamed’s interest is learning more about the different ways psychology manifests itself into our lives visibly through social interactions, such as acting.
Future Plans: Mohamed plans to graduate from Tufts in 2022 following this school year and begin working a career related to psychology.

Kayla Drazan

Kayla Drazan

Research Interests: Interested in examining social psychological forces involved in race- and gender-based discrimination and how colonialism has a role in creating these processes.
Future Plans: Finishing undergrad at Tufts and reading a lot of books!

Jeffrey Lin

Jeffrey Lin

Background: I am an undergraduate at Tufts University and plan to study psychology and political science. 
Research Interests: I'm interested in how stereotypes and prejudices can affect court outcomes and how political polarization may affect prosocial behavior.
Future Plans: In the future, I hope to either pursue a PhD in psychology or attend law school.

Marjorie Ilanera

Marjorie Llanera

Background: Marjorie graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2020, with a BA in Psychology and minors in Asian American Studies and Global Health. She is currently a lab assistant for the Collaborative START Lab at the UC Davis MIND Institute, where she coordinates two studies that address community-based intervention for young children with social communication difficulties. 
Research Interests: Her current research interests include empathy, intergroup relations, sense of belonging, and wellbeing, as well as the impact of racial-based humor on marginalized groups.
Future Plans: She hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in Social Psychology or Health Psychology.

Daniel Weber

Daniel Weber

Background: Daniel is a rising senior at Tufts University majoring in Clinical Psychology with minors in Economics and Political Science. 
Future Plans: He plans to explore the application of psychology to law and policy.

Former Visiting Faculty

Sarah Estow

Sarah Estow

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Guilford College

Faculty profile

Former Graduate Students

Chelsea Crittle

Chelsea Crittle

PhD 2020, Social Psychology
Dissertation: Pathways to Inclusive Excellence for Black Students in STEM.
Advisor: Dr. Keith Maddox
Thesis: Performative "Wokeness": Exploring Blacks' Perceptions of White Allies Who Confront Anti-Black Racism.
Advisor: Dr. Keith Maddox

Profile website

Lindsay Hinzman

Lindsay Hinzman

PhD 2018, Social Psychology
Dissertation: Social perception from where we stand: Considering the role of race-conferred social status in face recognition.
Advisor: Dr. Keith Maddox
MS 2016, Social Psychology
Thesis: Coming apart at the seams: When attire and racial phenotypicality cues elicit counter stereotypic person perceptions.
Advisor: Dr. Keith Maddox

Profile website

Jennifer Perry

Jennifer Perry

PhD 2018, Social Psychology
Dissertation: Economic anxiety? The interaction of phenotypicality and resource scarcity on threat-driven visual attention to Black men.
Advisor: Dr. Keith Maddox
MS 2012, New York University, Social Psychology
Thesis: Social power causes discordance between neural and self-reported responses to others' pain.
Advisor: Dr. David Amodio

Profile website

Alex Borgella

Alex Borgella

PhD 2017, Social Psychology
Dissertation: Cracking wise to break the ice: The role of identity and humor on intergroup judgment.
Advisor: Dr. Keith Maddox
MA, 2012, Psychological Sciences, James Madison University
Thesis: The role of country music in homonegativistic aggression.
Advisor: Dr. Matthew Lee

Profile websites

Simon Howards

Simon Howard

PhD 2016, Social Psychology
Dissertation: The Effects of Christian Religious Imagery on Anti-Black Attitudes.
Advisor: Dr. Sam Sommers
MS 2014, Social Psychology
Thesis: Examining the Effects of Processing Strategies on the Cross-Race Effect.
Advisor: Dr. Sam Sommers

Profile website

Jenni Schultz

Jenni Schultz

PhD 2014, Social Psychology 
Dissertation: It's Not You, It's Me: Using Emotion Regulation Strategies in Interracial Interactions.
Advisor: Dr. Keith Maddox
MS 2011, Social Psychology
Thesis: Shooting the Messenger to Spite the Message: Exploring Reactions to Claims of Racial Discrimination.
Advisor: Dr. Keith Maddox

Profile website

Sarah Gaither

Sarah Gaither

Ph.D. 2014, Social Psychology
Dissertation: "Mixed" Biracial Experiences from the Target's and Perceiver's Viewpoint.
Advisor: Dr. Sam Sommers
MS 2011, Social Psychology
Thesis: Having an Outgroup College Roommate Affects Future Interracial Interactions.
Advisor: Dr. Sam Sommers

Profile website

Kristin Dukes

Kristin Dukes

PhD 2012, Social Psychology
Dissertation: Does Racial Phenotypicality Bias Apply to Black Women? Exploring the Intersection of Racial Phenotypes and Gender in Stereotyping of Black Women.
Advisor: Dr. Keith Maddox
MS 2007, Social Psychology
Thesis: Distinguishing features of category membership in impression formation.
Advisor: Dr. Keith Maddox

Profile website

Tufts University sign

Omoniyi Adekanmbi

MS 2007, Social Psychology
Thesis: Disparate social costs for attributions to employment discrimination: A comparison of race and gender-based attributions.
Advisor: Dr. Keith Maddox

Profile website

Tufts University sign

Larissa Schyrokyj

MS 2007, Social Psychology
Thesis: Racial perception and perceived competence in helping situations.
Advisor: Dr. Keith Maddox

Profile website

Tufts University sign

Gina Melnik

PhD, 2007, Cognitive Psychology 
Dissertation: Modifications for an improved auditory train warning.
Advisor: Dr. Holly Taylor and Dr. Dan Hannon
MS 2003, Social Psychology 
Thesis: Effects of decision-criteria on in-group bias: Loan bias against women business owners.
Advisor: Dr. Julio Garcia

Profile website

Tufts University sign

Stephanie Gray

PhD 2003, Social Psychology
Dissertation: Parallel perceptions of Black women: The complex interplay of gender and race.
Advisor: Dr. Keith Maddox
MS 2000, Social Psychology 
Thesis: Social categorization of African Americans: The use of skin tone and contextual factors.
Advisor: Dr. Keith Maddox