About Us

Lab Director

Maureen Craig is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at New York University. She completed her undergraduate studies at Purdue University and completed her doctoral studies at Northwestern University. Prior to joining NYU, she was a post-doctoral fellow in the Psychology Department at Ohio State University.

Her primary research interests are in understanding the ways in which diversity and stigma shape individuals’ relations with people from different social groups, basic social cognitive processes, and political beliefs (for a further description, please see her faculty page or the lab’s Research page). In her off time, she likes to run, hike, and watch live comedy. [View CV]

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Affiliated Graduate Students

Riana Brown is a second year doctoral student working with Maureen Craig. She graduated with a BS in Psychology and International Studies from University of Miami in 2014. After that, she received a Fulbright Grant to study Psychology in The Netherlands and completed her MS in Social Psychology from the Vrije University Amsterdam, researching sexual prejudice. She is interested in studying the impact of stigmatized group membership and inequality (based on race, sexuality, gender, and income status) on policy preferences and behavior. In her free time she likes to bike around the city, practice yoga, and listen to comedy.

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Esther Burson is a fourth year doctoral student in NYU Steinhardt’s Psychology and Social Intervention program. She worked for humanitarian and educational organizations in Estonia, Greece, and New York after graduating from Swarthmore College with majors in Psychology and Classical languages. Under the mentorship of Dr. Erin Godfrey, Esther researches sociopolitical development and relations among marginalized groups, exploring issues of intersectionality and youth critical consciousness. She also studies juvenile justice settings as a member of the RISC settings level evaluation project. In her spare time, Esther rides horses and bakes wedding and celebration cakes. [View CV] EsthersHeadshot
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Pia Dietze moved to California after she finished high school in Germany. She received a B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley in 2011. She began her PhD at NYU in the Fall of 2013, working on topics related to social class, social status/power, politics and intergroup relations (primary advisor Eric Knowles). In her free time, she likes to swim, ride bikes, and eat black licorice. PiasHeadshot
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Shahrzad Goudarzi is a third year doctoral student. She grew up in Tehran, Iran, and received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Broadly, Shahrzad is interested in the role of ideological beliefs in shaping perceptions of inequality and reactions to disadvantaged and stigmatized targets. ShahrzadsHeadshot
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Elizabeth Harris is a second year doctoral student working primarily with Dr. Jay Van Bavel. She graduated with a BSc in Psychology from Western University in 2017. Elizabeth is interested in studying the various effects of social identities on motivated reasoning and evaluation. For example, she is currently studying the effect of political party membership on punishment behavior, the effect of national identity on taste evaluation, etc. In her free time she enjoys recreational reading, photography, and spending time outdoors. [View CV] ElizabethHarrisHeadshot
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Michelle Lee is a first year doctoral student working primarily with Dr. Maureen Craig. After graduating from NYU in 2012 with a B.A. in English & American Literature and working in book publishing, Michelle’s interests in diversity issues inspired her to enroll in Columbia University’s post-baccalaureate psychology program, which was followed by her stint as lab manager for Dr. Craig. She is interested in topics including the effects of increased diversity on intergroup and intra-minority relations, as well as motivations behind collective action and how that impacts perceptions of policy support. When she is not in lab, Michelle enjoys listening to music, dance, running, and reading. MichellesHeadshot
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Usman Liaquat is a second year doctoral student in the social psychology program at NYU. He is working primarily with Maureen Craig in the Diversity and Social Processes Lab. Usman grew up in Pakistan, where he received his BSc (Hons) degree in the Social Sciences at the Lahore University of Management Sciences in 2011. He also earned his MA degree in psychology at NYU in 2015 as a Fulbright scholar. He has also had brief stints as a journalist and teaching fellow in Pakistan. Usman is interested in exploring the conditions under which high- and low- status members of stigmatized groups choose to cooperate rather than compete with one another. In his free time, he likes to experiment in the kitchen, hike and read fiction. UsmansHeadshot
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Gustav John Wilhelm Lundberg received his BA in Psychology from the University of Iowa and he began his PhD in Social Psychology at NYU in 2017, working with Dr. Jon Freeman. He is interested in the neural mechanisms underlying stereotypes, intergroup perception, and social categorization. His past research has examined how age interacts with racial stereotypes. [View CV] GustavLundbergHeadshot
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Julian Rucker is a fifth year doctoral student at Yale University’s Social Psychology program. Before coming to Yale, Julian received a BA in Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin and received a MA in Psychology from Northwestern University. He is broadly interested in investigating the psychological factors shaping perceptions of, reactions to and motivations to address intergroup inequality across a number of societal domains. In his free time, he likes playing guitar and binging documentaries and college football. JuliansHeadshot
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Ashley Weinberg is a 5th year graduate student in the Social and Personality doctoral program at York University, Toronto. She is currently a visiting scholar at NYU. She received her Master’s from San Diego State University, California and is interested in studying interracial interactions. Specifically, her work focuses on interracial and intraminority friendships and race-related discussions, along relevant perceptual, categorical, and group processes. Ashley aims to apply her work to address social issues, and is currently a member of the student committee for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). Outside of the lab, she enjoys hip-hop, ballet, and collective/contact dancing, as well as finding fun and artistic community events to explore. AshleysHeadshot
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Research Assistants

Dean Baltiansky is a second year Master’s student in the General Psychology M.A. program at NYU. He graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2016 with a B.A. in psychology and humanities studies. His research interests include political psychology, system justification, intergroup relations, and the use of stereotypes. Specifically, he is interested in the system-justifying role of stereotypic humor, its use as a form of out-group favoritism and disadvantaged groups’ internalization of inferiority, and its potential expression in different dynamics of joke teller group identity, group of joke target, and audience members’ group identities. [View CV]

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Kyle Brennan is a recent graduate from the General-Experimental Psychology dual degree program at Iona College. His theses have explored the influence of brain hemispheric load and social class in people’s judgments about fictional characters. He hopes to uncover some of the phenomena responsible for intergroup solidarity and/or attribution errors. KylesHeadshot
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Casey Hoffman is in NYU’s accelerated BA/MA program, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Child & Adolescent Mental Health Studies. She is interested in the social psychology of identity, specifically exploring prejudice within stigmatized groups. Another area of interest to her are the conditions under which members of different stigmatized groups are more likely to be tolerant of one another. CaseyHoffmanHeadshot
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Ashlee Joseph is a rising junior majoring in Psychology at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, NY. She was the Diversity and Social Processes Lab’s first Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Intern this past Summer 2018. She is interested in how symbols of nationalism affect intergroup relations. She hopes to pursue a career in social psychological research. AshleeJosephHeadshot
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Rebecca Lin is a graduate student at NYU pursuing a Master of Arts in Psychology. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Italian Studies. Prior to coming to NYU, she was a Junior Specialist at the Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior (directed by Dr. Jim Blascovich at UC Santa Barbara) where she worked on research at the intersection of social psychology, physiology and technology. She is currently interested in studying diversity, inequality and intergroup relations, particularly between minority groups. Outside of the lab her interests include traveling, hiking, yoga and learning about wine. RebeccaLinHeadshot
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Paola Ponce is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in psychology on the pre-Medical track. Paola is interested in the intersections between social psychology and the medical field, which are often overlooked. She is also curious about how minds work in relation to who we are, how mental illness and wellness arises, how we see ourselves in the grand scheme of society, and how that changes our opinions or dynamics with other groups of people. Her hope is to learn to bridge her passions for both medicine and social psychology and bring a different perspective to the medical research field. PaolaPonceHeadshot
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James Worrall is a student at New York University who is working towards his Master’s in General Psychology and is currently maintaining high honors. James earned his B.A. in Psychology at Ramapo College of New Jersey while maintaining honors. He is working with Dr. Maureen Craig’s Diversity Lab, and he has been working primarily with Usman Liaquat. James has been working with Unity game development software and C# programming language to further his interests in virtual reality in relation to his interests in Social Neuroscience.  JamesWorrallHeadshot
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