Diversity

diversity and psychology club group photo

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts is strongly committed to the support and promotion of cultural diversity within the university and surrounding community. Cultural diversity encompasses differences and similarities in race, ethnicity, social class, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and age. Within the department, attention and sensitivity to diversity issues are fostered in course offerings, undergraduate programs, faculty and graduate student research, and clinical practice. A core aspect of awareness and appreciation for diversity is that it promotes respect for others. Diversity is especially valued and encouraged in the student body, faculty, and staff because it enriches both educational experiences and the translation of psychological knowledge into practice.

Diversity News

Influences of stigma on health outcomes and interventions

woman sits in the shadows at train station, people walking by

Determining where stigma exists and what effect it’s having on our communities is vital to learning what we can do to counteract its harmful consequences.

Allecia Reid, social psychologist at UMass Amherst, is studying the impact of stigma on the health of communities, as well as how to improve the efficacy of health-related interventions. Her work also considers how the social connections we make affect the health behaviors we choose, and how our thoughts and attitudes may incite changes in this behavior.

Children use race and gender to form beliefs about social status, research finds

kids with arms around each other

The age when children begin to think about stereotypes and possibly shape them into individual beliefs is a crucial moment in their social development.

New research at UMass Amherst is trying to uncover at what point stereotypical beliefs may emerge, and how they can evolve into prejudicial attitudes.

As children learn about the world around them, they are paying attention to constructs of society like wealth, power, and access to resources. In a recent study, researchers have gained more insight into whether children consider race and gender when deciding how to rank the social status of an individual or group.

​Brien Goodwin awarded the 2020 Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy Student Diversity Award

Brien GoodwinBrien Goodwin has been awarded the 2020 Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (APA Division 29) Student Diversity Award for his published paper "Extending the context-responsive psychotherapy integration framework to cultural processes in psychotherapy." 

Linda Tropp serves on virtual panel 'Social psychological perspectives on the racism pandemic'

RACISM, BIAS, AND DIVERSITY

Linda Tropp, social psychologist, recently served on a virtual panel sponsored by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, entitled "Social psychological perspectives on the racism pandemic." Full video 

Also, in an episode of Mass Appeal, Tropp discussed the motivation behind recent protests calling for racial justice and an end to police violence against Black Americans.
Full video 

UMass Amherst and Partners Launch Summer Leadership Academy for Diverse Students in Technology and Engineering

person reading book in front of blackboard with math equations

Top tech and engineering firms join as sponsors in career development effort

A new leadership academy for students of color and women who are interested in careers in technology and engineering was launched today by the Institute of Diversity Sciences (IDS) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

We must stand together to end racism

figures join hands

We are heartbroken and outraged by the recent killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, and the numerous deaths and acts of violence repeatedly endured by the Black community. These horrific events, along with the inequalities brought to light through the pandemic, highlight just how unacceptably far we are from achieving a society in which each of us has the opportunity to fully and safely reach our aspirations.  

Quinnehtukqut McLamore awarded the fifth annual Keith Rayner Memorial Graduate Student Research Award

Quinnehtukqut McLamoreQuinnehtukqut McLamore, a fourth-year student in the Psychology of Peace and Violence concentration of the Social Psychology program working with Dr. Bernhard Leidner, was awarded the fifth annual Keith Rayner Memorial Graduate Student Research Award for the project, Challenge and Threat Framings of COVID-19 Messaging and Downstream Consequences.

Educational app levels the playing field for preschoolers

school children use tablets in classroom

Scientists find Khan Academy app can help bridge the education achievement gap for at-risk children, an important finding during coronavirus-induced remote learning 

As millions of families struggle to keep their children learning while schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, preliminary results of a randomized, controlled study led by David Arnold, psychological and brain sciences, show that 4- and 5-year-olds from low income families who used a Khan Academy Kids App for three months at home achieved “substantial gains in their pre-literacy skills that brought them nearly to the national average.” 

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