Mentor: Dr. Becca Neel
People want to belong and to be valued by others, but sometimes, that desire is thwarted. Devaluation can take many forms. In our lab, we are examining one form of devaluation in particular: invisibility. When someone is invisible, they are overlooked and ignored by others. How does a person who feels invisible prefer to respond (if at all)? Do they seek to be valued by those who ignore them, do they accept being invisible, do they disengage? Would they sometimes feel that threatening others would be better than being invisible, because it would at least allow them to gain some attention? What factors – personal sense of power, personality, etc. – would lead someone to choose each of these different responses? In this project, we will recruit a sample of adult participants online. Participants will read scenarios describing being ignored by others, and will be asked open-ended questions about how they would like to respond in the scenario. We will also ask participants to rate the desirability of a number of options for how to respond, reflecting strategies to become valued by others, to become a threat, to accept being invisible, or to disengage. We will measure a number of individual differences (e.g., sense of power) that may differently correspond to the strategies people prefer. Through this project, you will develop skills related to reading the scientific literature, study design, data collection, data cleaning and analysis, open science, and interpretation of results.
I love working with students at all levels, and I especially enjoy mentoring students on research projects as they develop their psychological science skills. My mentorship is geared towards helping students to hone their own ideas and hypotheses about why people behave the way they do, and then working together to design studies that can best test those ideas. It’s important to me that students see the big picture behind the skills they learn, and have a sense of autonomy and ownership over their work. Students also bring diverse interests, experiences and goals to their research, and I get a lot of satisfaction from helping students to discover their own path. I’m excited to be a part of the SROP program’s efforts to create greater equity in research opportunities for junior scholars.