Dr. Mina Cikara - "Context dependence in social cognition and categorization"
Professor Cikara studies how the mind, brain, and behavior change when the social context shifts from "me and you" to "us and them." She focuses primarily on how group membership, competition, and prejudice disrupt the processes that allow people to see others as human and to empathize with others. She uses a wide range of tools-standard laboratory experiments, implicit and explicit behavioral measures, fMRI and psychophysiology-to examine failures of empathy, dehumanization, and misunderstanding between groups. She is equally interested in the behavioral consequences of these processes: discrimination, conflict, and harm.