Lab Name:  Foels LCR Lab

This branch of the Foels/Tomcho LCR lab studies the causes and consequences of social injustice. The theoretical approach involves a blend of cognitive complexity, social identity, and social power. Those with a strong feminist or racial identity are more cognitively complex. Cognitively complex individuals in turn are more socially aware and engage in less intergroup bias, In contrast, those with high social power are less cognitively complex and engage in more intergroup bias. Therefore being raised with high social power (e.g., dominant ethnic, gender, or economic group) makes one less cognitively complex, which in turn makes one more likely to engage in prejudice and support social injustice.

Current projects include:

  • the role of feminist identity and cognitive complexity on the acceptance of myths regarding victims of sexual assault
  • understanding early perceptual processes related to cognitive complexity
  • manipulating cognitive complexity to reduce intergroup biases
  • political ideology and cognitive complexity

Future projects:

  • gender differences in cognitive complexity (women are more complex)
  • feminist pedagogy
  • how prejudice and discrimination are presented in textbooks
  • how gender dysphoria is presented in textbooks

Qualifications for working with Dr. Foels include:

  • sophomore or junior status
  • an earned A in one of Dr. Foels' classes
  • GPA of 3.5 or greater
  • strong library skills
  • commitment to 9 hours a week of research activities