Attitudes and Preferences in Social Contexts

Mentor: Dr. William Cunningham

Dr. William Cunningham

Project Description

Our lab broadly focuses on a variety of questions pertaining to (1) why people stereotype and have prejudices; (2) how people build self concepts from their social roles and identities; (3) how our goals shape our experience and behaviour; and (4) how we use memories to form preferences.

Our SROP student will have many opportunities to be a part of multiple projects but will most likely focus on a project on attitudes and preferences in a social context. These are crucial for survival, whether it involves guiding behaviour toward or away from an immediate significant object or anticipation of future rewards and punishments in goal pursuit. Attitudes, and biases/distortions in attitudes, exert powerful influences on people’s evaluations and influence people’s choices, and in turn shape the environments that we live by influencing behaviour.

We recruit participants via online testing platforms like Amazon MTurk or Millisecond Inquisit. You will learn what goes into designing and implementing research designs, as well as collect and analyze data. We will also provide any necessary training in the form of weekly supervisor meetings, weekly lab meetings and any guidance provided by all lab members.

Mentorship Statement

I am committed to creating an inclusive environment in my lab. Mentorship is something I find very important for students to gain not only professional but also personal skills. Mentors provide students with guidance, support and encouragement which is key to staying motivated for success. The SROP student will have the opportunity to connect with graduate students in my lab and be trained on designing survey instruments, collecting data, analyzing data, and writing up research. I am motivated to get involved with the SROP program because it gives students experience in a research setting, under the guidance of a professor, that they may not have gotten elsewhere. It allows students to gain the confidence to be comfortable with their research skills and network with their scientific peers. Additionally, programs like SROP allows student-professor collaborations from diverse backgrounds and different perspectives.

Project ID 998