Developing prejudice and discrimination interventions are crucial to reducing prejudice, intergroup conflict, and discrimination. In this line of research, I take both bottom-up and top-down approaches to developing prejudice and discrimination reduction interventions. That is, in some of my work, I identify the mechanisms through which prejudice arises and then design interventions around those mechanisms (bottom-up approach). In other work, I identify successful interventions developed by non-scientists and then pinpoint the mechanisms through which those interventions are successful. Ongoing research utilizes these approaches to combat Islamophobia (e.g., Moore-Berg, Hameiri, Falk & Bruneau, in prep.) and animosity toward migrants (e.g., Moore-Berg, Hameiri, Falk & Bruneau, in prep.).
Social Category Intersectionality
Many social categories are stereotypically confounded. Race and social class, for example, have historically been intertwined, yet much of the literature focuses on either race or social class during stereotype, prejudice, and behavior assessment. This focus is problematic given that different patterns of attitudes and behaviors arise when both social categories are specified (e.g., rich Black) rather than when only one of the two categories is reported (e.g., Black) (Moore-Berg & Karpinski, 2018). For instance, my work demonstrates that White people are stereotypically linked to wealth and Black people are stereotypically linked to poverty. Yet when race and social class are both specified, these stereotypic associations become more nuanced, and thus attitudes (Moore-Berg & Karpinski, under review) and behaviors (i.e., shooting behaviors; Moore-Berg, Karpinski, & Plant, 2017) change in response. In this line of research, I focus on how the intersection of social categories affect a variety of intergroup processes including categorization, attitudes, prejudice, and discrimination.
Implicit Social Cognition
Implicit attitudes—attitudes that are outside of our conscious control or awareness—are paramount to intergroup interactions; they affect our views of others, influence our reactions to others, and shape our interactions with others. In this line of research, I seek to understand what the antecedents of implicit attitudes are, what implicit attitudes predict, and how implicit attitudes affect intergroup interactions. Some of my recent work has focused on understanding implicit stigmatization about non-suicidal self-injury (Piccorillo, Burke, Moore-Berg, Heimberg, & Alloy, 2018), the influence of racial labels on implicit attitudes (Moore-Berg, Fitzpatrick, & Karpinski, under review), and the predictive validity of implicit measures (Moore-Berg, Briggs, & Karpinski, in press).
Meta-Perceptions & Meta-Stereotypes
Meta-perceptions and meta-stereotypes encompass how we think others (e.g., outgroup members) view us (e.g., ingroup members). In instances when meta-perceptions are inaccurate, intergroup hostility can transpire. For example, Democrats and Republicans anticipate that outgroup members' meta-perceptions are much more negative than they actually are. This inaccurate meta-perception fuels subsequent animosity toward outgroup members, which leads to increased social distancing and discrimination toward outgroup members (Moore-Berg, Hameiri, Ankori-Karlinsky & Bruneau, in prep.). In this line of research, I compare actual perceptions to meta-perceptions and then examine how meta-perceptions influence intergroup behaviors.
© Copyright 2019, Samantha Moore-Berg