Visiting Assistant Professor - Department of Sociology, Mount Holyoke College
My research utilizes multi-level and comparative frameworks in the study of culture, organizations, social networks, and interpersonal interaction, exploring how micro- and macro-level social structures coalesce to inform social behavior and emotional experience. My approach to theory and research is informed by work from a variety of disciplines and relies on various methodologies as appropriate to the question under study. I primarily collect my own data using survey and experimental methods, the latter of which involves respondents in collaborative group tasks or social interactions. Using this paradigm, I have conducted research on decision-making, perceptions of justice in exchange, intergroup behavior and emotion, and the structural predictors of social perception. My interest in cultural and structural influences on emotion can be traced back to my undergraduate and early graduate training in psychology, where my research emphasized the significance of social context and cultural variation in emotion perception.
I received my PhD in Sociology from Duke University in May 2013, with Certificates in College Teaching and East Asian Studies. I also received a Master of Arts in Psychology from Wake Forest University in May 2005, and a Master of Arts in Sociology from Duke University in September 2008. My dissertation project, entitled “Mapping the Social Ecology of Culture: Social Position, Connectedness, and Influence as Predictors of Systematic Variation in Affective Meaning,” tested the proposition that social perception is dynamic and structurally contingent. Using primary survey data collected at two universities, this research demonstrates that patterns of cultural affective meaning are importantly related to social position and patterns of social connectedness, including the prestige and total number of one's social ties. Through an experimental study, I additionally showed that social influence processes can operate on these meanings; influential members of a group deliberation task not only shape group members’ opinions but also their sentiments for the social roles involved in the deliberation.
I have recently published two papers that explore the consequences of stereotyping for intergroup prejudice and discrimination in social interaction. The papers explore behavioral and emotional responses to stereotyped groups (Social Psychology Quarterly), and compare consensus in group sentiments within and between cultures (Group Processes and Intergroup Relations). Furthermore, they examine the commensurability of sociological and psychological theories, reflective of my interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching. A third paper, published at Emotion Review, presents new arguments unifying emotion research across disciplines. My other manuscripts in preparation pertain to justice and emotion, individual differences in impression formation, and change in cultural meaning. For more information about my research, please refer to my Curriculum Vitae.