Broadly speaking, we are studying:

The social psychological processes involved in creating and maintaining health inequalities and disparities.

Inequality between groups is often unintentional but stems from subtle, often unnoticeable, social psychological mechanisms, such as biases, that help maintain the status quo. In the lab we examine whether and how these social psychological mechanisms (e.g., endorsement of gender beliefs and stereotypes) affect people’s behaviors as well as their physical and mental health and well-being.

Main research questions:

  • How implicit and explicit gender stereotypes (i.e., beliefs we hold about groups) influence medical doctors’ career choices?
  • How stereotypes influence peoples’ perceptions of the medical staff, choice of doctors, the doctor-patient interaction and adherence to medical care?
  • How idealized perceptions of motherhood can serve as a risk factor for women’s mental health?
  • How is the endorsement of patriarchal beliefs associated with sexual health?

The effects of dehumanization and objectification on people’s mental, physical, and sexual health

Perceiving or treating people as less than human (i.e., dehumanization) or as an object (i.e., objectification) can negatively affect people’s mental health and wellbeing. When this perception is internalized, in a process called self-objectification, it can lead to various negative outcomes such as eating behaviors, anxiety, sexual dysfunctions and decreased well-being.

Main research questions:

  • How objectification and self-objectification influences women’s health and mental health?
  • How dehumanization and objectification, of both patients and staff, can be reduced in medical practice?
  • How self-objectification affect health and mental health outcomes for people of different genders and sexual orientations?