Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Talk - Malleable Identities & Contexts

Sarah E. Gaither, Ph.D. Department of Psychology Duke University

We all have multiple identities—race, gender, age, sexual orientation, occupation, etc. However, psychology research has traditionally focused on the effects stemming from one identity (i.e., race OR gender), rather than trying to measure how belonging to multiple groups may actually shift our behavior. With today’s society becoming increasingly diverse, it is important for research to consider the contexts in which our identities are made more versus less salient. In my talk, inclusive of child and adult participants samples, I will explore how belonging to multiple groups and how diversity in one’s social context shapes how we respond to identity-relevant threats and how we see others. I will also discuss new work measuring how interactions with diverse others such as college roommates can shift our definitions of ingroup. In sum, this talk will push our existing notions of identity research to be more inclusive of multiple identification and the variation that exists across diverse settings.