Intergroup Relations

In general, our research has focused primarily on affective and ideological predictors of intergroup prejudice, including RWA, SDO, and intergroup emotions. One emotion in particular we have studied is intergroup disgust sensitivity (ITGDS; Hodson, Choma et al., 2013). ITGDS is an affect-laden variable reflecting dispositional differences in the tendency to experience disgust and revulsion reactions toward ethnic outgroups.

Our lab is also interested in investigating ways to reduce prejudice. Much of this research draws on intergroup contact theory (Allport, 1954).



Much of our recent work on prejudice has been exploring Islamophobia. Islamophobia is on the rise; hence, there is an urgent need to understanding this prejudice, in particular. As a part of an Early Researcher’s Award grant from the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, Dr. Becky Choma and the SPP Lab has been investigating fear and the use of humour in relation to attitudes towards Muslims. Ongoing research is evaluating reactions to Social Justice Comedy by Muslim comedians.

As part of this grant, the SPP Lab has collaborated with on-campus groups, including the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA). For example, on March 23 2017, the SPP Lab and MSA held a comedy night, Just for LULZ. Additionally, as a part of Islam Awareness Week (March 20-24th), the MSA also set up a table where students dropped by and wrote down their opinions and jokes about what Muslims do and Muslim’s don’t do. Students also contributed online using the hashtags #MuslimsDo and #MuslimsDont on Twitter or tweet at @MuslimsDo.

Finally, our lab is also interested in investigating ways to reduce prejudice. Our studies typically employ inventions related to empathy and actual or imagined intergroup contact. Currently, we are exploring the effects of online contact with outgroup members.