Elysia Vaccarino

Picture of Elysia Vaccarino

I am interested in investigating intergroup dynamics, the cues used during processes of social categorization, and their resulting implications, especially those relating to topics of prejudice and stereotyping.

I seek to explore topics of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination through a person perception lens. The concept that we may be unintentionally sending lasting and influential impressions to others is noteworthy, and the implications of this phenomenon in fields of prejudice are likely consequential. My research interests thus lie primarily in investigating the socio-cognitive mechanisms of intergroup relations as well as determining potential strategies to reduce associated deleterious biases.

Currently, I am studying the impact of “colour-blind” strategies on intergroup contexts. Although, today, strong societal norms often equate the refrainment of mentioning race in intergroup contexts with a display of egalitarianism, research in our lab has demonstrated that such strategies can have paradoxical implications and can subsequently lead to increased bias. I am currently exploring the dynamics of these colour-blind strategies from a perspective of competing motivations and goal conflict. I am also investigating strategies to minimize these negative outcomes, specifically by determining whether going against such social norms could eradicate the false sense of fulfilled egalitarianism provided by colour-blind norms and subsequently result in less prejudice.