Welcome to the SPIA Lab at Washington University!

The Social Perception and Intergroup Attitudes Lab is directed by Professor Clara L. Wilkins and run by a team of Washington University students.  Our research focuses on social stigma, prejudice and stereotyping. We examine perceptions of bias against high-status groups and how physical appearance shapes stereotyping.

Some of the questions our research explores:

  • What causes individuals who have traditionally been seen as perpetrators of bias (e.g. whites, men) to perceive themselves as victims of discrimination?

  • What are the consequences of perceiving bias?

  • How do people react when individuals claim to be victims of bias?

  • How does variation within groups (e.g. variation in racial minorities’ physical appearance) affect stereotyping and identification?