Research Assistant Opportunities

The Sidanius Lab is always on the lookout for strongly motivated Research Assistants to support its varied research program. Research Assistants (RAs) are welcome either on a volunteer basis, or for course credit (by enrolling in PSY 2570r or 910r). RAs are required to commit to a minimum number of hours per week depending on their enrollment and the lab’s needs. They are also invited to attend and participate in weekly lab meetings in which we discuss the lab’s research. Lab meetings are required for RAs enrolled in 2570r, but are optional for volunteers or those enrolled in 910r. If interested, Research Assistants may be invited to present and receive feedback on their own research ideas. 

Below is a description of ongoing research being conducted in the lab. To apply for a Research Assistant position, contact Gregory Davis (gdavis@g.harvard.edu) with your CV and the brief RA application here or at the bottom of the page.

Please Note: For the Fall 2015 semester ONLY, attendance of the regular lab meetings for Harvard College undergraduates taking PSY 910a or PSY 2570r is optional in order to not burden interested students who have other commitments on Friday mornings. Students who take either course as a part of being a research assistant may still receive full credit from research assisting, a final paper, and a final presentation (for 2570r). Please also note that individual researchers in The Sidanius Lab may require research assistants to attend meetings at their discretion to fulfill research needs.

**updated as of September 1st for Fall 2015**

 

  

Primary Investigator: Rachel Arnett

Research Topics: Identity, Status, and Careers 

Research Overview: How do identity and status affect how we think about ourselves, how we interact in social contexts, and how we make professional decisions? These questions help guide Rachel’s research on identity, status, and careers. In one experimental project, Rachel will be exploring the effects of status differences on interpersonal relationships. For example, when and why do the wealthy hide their background? What implications does this have for intergroup relations? In a separate field study, Rachel is exploring how individuals from low income communities perform in professional contexts, and how psychological interventions can boost performance. Finally, in a set of experimental and qualitative studies, Rachel is exploring how professional identities and decisions are influenced by different human motives, social influences, and gender norms.

Research Opportunities: Rachel is looking forward to getting Research Assistants involved with research design and idea development, background research and literature reviews, study creation and participant recruitment via online platforms, and data collection. Rachel may also be looking for RAs to play the role of Experimenter. 

Accepting RAs on this project for the Fall

Expected Hours: 10-20 hours per week depending on total number of RAs.

 

 

Primary Investigator: Sa-kiera Hudson (Kiera)

Research Topics: Power/Dominance; Hierarchy; Intersectionality; Race; Gender; Developmental Psychology; Social Identities 

Research Overview: What does it mean on a psychological level to have power and how to we determine who has it? Are race, gender, and sexual orientation power hierarchies and what does this mean for intergroup relations? I have several projects relating to this question. First, when do people start to recognize social power hierarchies? This question will be answered by examining hierarchy identification in children. Second, what are the experiences of discrimination at the nexus of race and gender, particularly for ethnic minority women? Third, how does biological individual differences of testosterone levels predict intergroup aggression and perceptions of threat? Finally, how do higher status groups maintain their privilege and status in society?

Research Assistant Opportunities: I am looking for RAs that are extremely eager to learn about the research process and are flexible with their time. RAs could get involved with research design and idea development, background research and literature reviews, study creation and participant recruitment via online platforms, and data collection. Specifically I need experimenters, confederates, park testers, and campus surveyors. I am looking for RAs who are interested in multiple projects. 

Accepting RAs on this project for the Summer and Fall

Expected Hours: Flexible, but around 8-10 hours a week for part-time RAs and 16-20 hours a week for full-time RAs. For RAs interested in my social developmental work, we will visit parks and museums to collect subjects. 

  

  

Primary Investigator: Gregory Davis

Research Topics: Person Perception, Evaluation, Admissions, Law

Research Overview: I study the admissions process, specifically: the social psychological and sociological processes that underlie admissions decisions; the role that arbitrariness and bias may play in admissions decisions, and; how intergroup and intercultural dynamics play out in the application and admissions processes. I also do unrelated research in the areas of law, sexual orientation, sexuality and gender politics, media, and Blackness.

Research Assistant Opportunities: I will require two (2) RAs for the Summer 2015. This first RA should have a primary interest in social psychology, sociology, or higher education, as he or she will assist in my social psychology work on admissions. This will include research reviews, some data review and verification, and running experiments with participants in the lab. The second RA will have more varied responsibilities and will assist me in my non-psychology work. Any interest in law and/or critical theory will be a great asset, as I will need assistance in literature review and theory development with this work. This work should require 10 hours/week. Multiple opportunities for co-authorship available for those willing to do some writing with me as well (which will require more hours per week of work). 

Accepting RAs on this project for the Fall

Expected Hours: The time commitment will be light as first (5-7 hours per week), but may increase (at most 10 hours per week) over the course of the summer.

 

 

Primary Investigator: Lumumba Seegars, PhD Student 

Research Topics: Institutional Fit; Organizational Psychology; Hierarchy; Identity

Research Overview: My research, broadly, explores how organizations change over time as a function of the types of people within the organization as well as how those individuals interact with each other. Currently, I am looking at this question in two different ways: (1) person-organization fit based on individuals’ views concerning hierarchy and inequality, and (2) the negotiation and enactment of multiple identities within individuals and how this “identity work” affects collaboration, innovation, and other outcomes within organizations and broader environments. 

Research Assistant Opportunities: Research assistants will participate in multiple projects and in multiple stages of the research process (e.g. IRB approval, recruitment, conducting literature reviews, programming studies, and managing & running experiments). I am looking for highly motivated and flexible students with strong academic interests. 

Accepting RAs on this project for the Fall

Expected Hours: 5-10 hours per week

 

 

Primary Investigator: Sasha Kimel, PhD

Research Topics: Violent Ethnic Conflict, Genetic Theories, Power/Status, Social Exclusion, Cultural Psychology

Research Overview: What are the consequences of scientific theories about racial categories (e.g. genetics) for violent interethnic conflict? How does an ethnic group's power and status impact relationships between groups? In what ways does the emotional response to being socially excluded vary by ethnicity? I examine these questions using diverse ethnic groups (e.g. Jewish-Americans, Arab-Americans, Palestinians, Asian-Americans) and methodologies. 

Research Assistant Opportunities: Research assistants will participate in multiple projects and in multiple stages of the research process (e.g. IRB approval, recruitment, conducting literature reviews, programming studies, and managing & running experiments). RAs who are interested in collaboration and in developing strong methodological skills are particularly encouraged to apply. I am looking for highly motivated and flexible students with strong academic interests.

Accepting RAs on this project for the Fall

Expected Hours:  5-10 hours per week

 

Primary Investigator: Mariska Kappmeier

Research Topic: Intergroup conflict, trust and inequality

Research Overview:  How can trust be built between adversarial groups? How does race and inequality impact trust? My research broadly tackles the challenges of diverse societies: How can trust be built between institutions and the diverse ethnic groups they serve? Specifically I investigate the trust relations between the police and local communities, since more than any other institution the police represent the state, while simultaneously being active in the local communities. My upcoming work ask questions such as, does the trust relation between Black and White into the police differ from each other? How does social dominance orientation, the support of hierarchy modify the trust? Do individuals with a higher acceptance of hierarchy also display a higher trust into the police, as a state institution?

Research Assistant Opportunity: I am looking forward to work with an RA, who is interested to be involved in research design and idea development, support in literature review and data collection, which will involve actually pen and paper questionnaire in diverse communities.

Expected Hours: 8-10h/ week

 

Primary Investigator: Milan Obaidi

Research Topics: Intergroup Relations and Intergroup Violence 

Research Overview: Milan works on a project that explores social and psychological factors that contribute to the motivations behind the radicalization of some first, second and third generations of Muslim Europeans with migrant background. In particular, he investigates the extent to which individual psychological needs, feelings and motives pertaining to the management of deprivation, victimization, uncertainty, group threat, and injustice are related to Muslim Europeans’ attitudes towards committing and supporting terrorism in the West.  In addition to theoretical work, he currently addresses his topic using a combination of methods, including questionnaires, large-scale random-sample surveys, vignette and priming experiments, and qualitative interviews.

Research Assistant Opportunities: Research assistants will get to provide input to study design, to learn how to create online surveys, and to assist in data cleaning and analysis.

NOT accepting RAs on this project for the  Fall

 

 

 

Primary Investigator: Sarah Cotterill

Topics: Status, Hierarchies, Perception 

Research Overview:  Why do people support belief systems that do not always serve their interests? For example, why do the wealthy vote liberal? Why do the poor vote Republican? Sarah will undertake a lab study this fall that aims to address these questions.

Research Assistant Opportunities: Research assistants are needed to act as lab experimenters, as well as for data processing. Research assistants will also have the opportunity to learn about and participate in preliminary data analysis.

NOT accepting RAs on this project for the Fall

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