Production of Hierarchy and Boundaries through Stereotypes

Categorization is at the foundation of human cognition and social structures. Categories enjoy different salience in shaping social orders. Some have long been at the center of inequality (e.g., class, race/ethnicity, and gender), while others just emerge (e.g., Covid-19 vaccine status) or are rarely relevant (e.g., fan group membership). Stereotypes differentiating categories in various qualities is an important reason for unequal inter-category relationships. However, the sources of stereotypes remain less well-investigated. Conceiving beliefs and structures as results of daily interactions or practices, I aim to identify the ordinary engines of stereotypes and categorical inequality.

Individual Experiences within Various Hierarchies

Social Hierarchies have varying dimensions and shapes. To better grasp the effect of hierarchies on individual life outcomes, my other line of work investigates how hierarchies of different origins bear upon the distribution of important resources, such as material rewards, opportunities, or social influence.

Methodology Advancement in Studying Complex Hierarchies

Because hierarchies in natural settings take many forms, there is a strong need for researchers to reach beyond laboratory dyad encounters to advance our knowledge. Therefore, I am interested in pursuing more accurate experimental treatment and assessing the validity of existing methods with more diverse populations.

Research Consultancy

I contribute to other applied projects with my expertise in survey development and statistical analysis. In one project, I am working with Dr. Justin Sipla and Dr. Amal Shibli-Rahhal to examine medical student mastery of foundational science concepts from 2016-2022 with NBME shelf exam data. I conducted cognitive diagnostic modeling to derive mastery scores from binary response data and mean comparison analysis to identify areas in which mastery was lacking. Another project includes developing a survey for Dr. Naomi Greyser’s book about writer’s block. Collectively, we created a paper and a Qualtrics quiz to help readers of the book assess their own writing skills and improve on areas that can continue to grow. Lastly, in 2017, I worked with Dr. Sarah Bruch, and Dr. Hansini Munasinghe to help the University of Iowa Public Policy Center evaluate employee experiences with the FMLA parental leave policy. We conducted both statistical analysis to examine group differences in satisfaction and qualitative analysis to identify difficulties with the policy implementation.