University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Gorana Gonzalez



Conference Registration Award

School or College: 

College of Natural Sciences


Dr. Tara Mandalaywala


Gorana Gonzalez is a graduate student in the Cognition Across Development Lab (CAD lab) led by Dr. Tara Mandalaywala in the Developmental Science Program. She is interested in understanding the development of racial social cognition. That is, how are children learning and thinking about race and applying that knowledge in their daily lives? How does race influence what children think of others, how they expect others to behave, and the spaces they can navigate? Gorana also has tangential interests in children’s understanding of racial privileges as well as how children are acquiring knowledge about racial categories and what that knowledge is. Her Master’s Thesis currently focuses on children’s expectations for how their peers of different races might behave when encountering police officers or other authorities.


Racial Cognition, Stereotypes, and Attitudes in Racial-ethnic Majority and Minority Children 

Children in the United States continue to develop in a racially divided world in which racial minorities suffer the most. How do children of varying racial backgrounds learn and think about race as they navigate their social world? Gorana’s research seeks to discover not only how, but also what information children are learning about racial categories and the people within the perceived categories. How does that information influence how they interact with others? How do they expect others to behave? And how do they view themselves as they form a racial identity? Understanding how children develop their racial thinking will help us nurture the next generation and foster a more equitable and just society.


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