The West Interpersonal Perception Lab

People

Principal Investigator

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Tessa West

Tessa is an Associate Professor at New York University. She has been at NYU since earning her PhD in Social Psychology at University of Connecticut in 2008. Her research focuses on understanding the nature and dynamics of human perception, in particular how we perceive others in cross-race interactions. Tessa's multi-method approach to studying dyadic- and group-level interactions balances real-world validity with the control of experimental settings.

Her CV can be found here

Postdocs

PHD Students

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Diego Reinero

Diego is a 4th year Ph.D. student and a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow who studies how people connect with and understand the experience of others. His primary line of research explores how people's brainwaves synchronize with others during social interactions and what it means (e.g., a shared experience) and what it might predict (e.g., enhanced group performance). Reinero also does some meta-science work on psychology's "replication crisis”, and is interested in how people’s attitudes about moral issues develop and change. His Twitter handle is @diegoareinero and his CV can be found here.

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Oana Dumitru

Oana graduated from NYU with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Math and Computer Science, and is now a third year student in the Social Psychology Ph.D. program at NYU. She is broadly interested in how interpersonal interactions are influenced by social factors, such as social status and group identity. Her current line of research aims to explore how newcomers become integrated into groups and under what circumstances they can influence group decision-making. She is further interested in what factors determine how much variability individuals show in their perceptions of others' rank in the social hierarchy. Her CV can be found here.

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Ashley Berkebile-Weinberg

Ashley Berkebile-Weinberg is a graduate student at NYU. She received her Master’s from San Diego State University, California and is interested in studying intergroup interactions and relations. Specifically, her work focuses on interracial and intraminority friendships and race-related discussions, along with relevant perceptual, categorical, and group processes. Ashley aims to apply her work to address social issues, and is involved with the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and the Consortium of Social Science Associations which aim to connect research with public policy. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hip-hop, ballet, and collective/contact dancing, as well as finding fun and artistic community events to explore. Her CV can be found here.

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Kareena del Rosario

Kareena is a first year doctoral student in the Social Psychology program at NYU. Prior to joining NYU, she received her B.A. in psychology from San Francisco State University and worked as the lab manager in the UCSF Emotion, Health and Psychophysiology Lab under Dr. Wendy Berry Mendes. Broadly, she is interested in understanding how social connection impacts health and well-being and exploring the role of biological factors, like autonomic physiology and sleep, in our interactions. She is particularly interested in investigating empathy in intergroup contexts and understanding how physiological responses provide insight into how we interpret and respond to our social environment. Her CV can be found here.

Lab Manager

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Casey Stern

Casey is a junior Psychology major and Child & Adolescent Mental Health Studies minor. She intends to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and work in a clinical setting, focusing on behavioral treatment for internalizing and externalizing disorders in children and adolescents. Her other interests include self-perception, social comparison, and how these variables relate to health and lifestyle practices. Casey is also currently the Project Director for a study investigating how newcomers become integrated into existing groups. Outside of the lab, Casey enjoys baking, music, and combining her passions for psychology and human rights in her sorority's philanthropic cause, the Women's Wellness Initiative.

Research Assistants

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Mari Sophia Otsu

Mari is a senior majoring in Global Liberal Studies (with a concentration in Arts & Literatures), Psychology, and French, with minors in Studio Art and Child & Adolescent Mental Health Studies. She is the Vice President of NYU Psi Chi and works as a research assistant in the Trope Lab. Over the summer, Mari interned in Dan Gilbert's lab, contributing to research on the common illusions we have about the world. Her interests lie at the intersection of history, culture, psychology, writing, and art. Born and raised in Hawaii, Mari is especially interested in grappling with themes of post-war and intergenerational trauma, multiethnic identity, and mental health in the Asian Pacific Islander diaspora. Outside of academia, she loves to read, go to galleries and museums, see plays, hike, swim, and create art.

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Casey Hoffman

Casey Hoffman is a senior majoring in Psychology with a minor is Child & Adolescent Mental Health Studies. She is also in the accelerated BA/MA program in General Psychology. She is interested in research involving how people make judgements and decisions regarding others, especially in regards to stereotyping and prejudice, and how identity influences this. This is her first year as a research assistant in the West Lab.

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Celeste Nsubayi

Celeste is a rising senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Chemistry and Religious Studies. She has always wanted to be a doctor, but after watching a number of crime shows, she also developed a passion for behavioral analysis and criminology. Having decided to pursue both of these passions, she got on the pre-health track, with hopes of one day becoming a Criminal Psychiatrist.

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Sol Ahn

Sol is a senior at NYU studying Applied Psychology in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She is interested in many areas of research including individual productivity within groups, motivation and performance, how music affects emotions, and how bilinguals perceive and express their thoughts and emotions through different languages. In the future, she would like to pursue a career in Industrial Organizational Psychology.

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Songzhi (Era) Wu

Era is a senior studying Sociology, Philosophy and Psychology at NYU. She is interested in social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, quantitative methods in social sciences, moral psychology, philosophy of science and philosophy of mind. She intends to write her senior thesis on the topic of stereotype threat.

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Kathryn Lau Chin

Kathryn Chin is a senior at NYU pursing a major in Psychology with minors in Chemistry and American Sign Language. She is interested in the intersection of psychology and the medical field; specifically, how implicit racial biases affect treatment and patient/physician interactions. Outside the lab, Kathryn enjoys playing the piano and traveling.

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Sherry Huang

Sherry Huang recieved her B.B.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Baruch College with a minor in Communications. She is interested in clinical psychology and how the patient-physician relationship can lead to different outcomes. Sherry hopes to apply her experiences at West Lab to improve these interpersonal relationships in the clinical setting. Currently, she is looking to pursue a career in healthcare focused in psychiatry.

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JooHyun (Katheryn) Oh

JooHyun (Katheryn) is a senior at NYU studying Psychology and Child& Adolescent Mental Health Studies. She has always been interested in studying child mental health and social psychology, especially in regards to pro social behavior and aggression, attitudes and persuasion, and relationships. She also is interested in pursuing a career in law in the future, and thinks that social psychology has intersection by an understanding in human behavior. Outside the lab, Katheryn enjoys playing the piano and cooking.

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Quincey Pyatt

Quincey is a freshman at NYU pursuing a major in Psychology and a minor in Social and Cultural Analysis. This is her first year as a research assistant in the West Lab and she is looking forward to using her first-hand research experience to narrow down her areas of interest within the field of psychology. In her free time she likes to play guitar, read, go to concerts, and visit art museums.

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Nicole Saulle

Nicole is on the Forensic track of the General Psychology Master's program at NYU. She earned her BA in Psychology from Binghamton University along with minors in Biological Anthropology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is interested in how subconscious social biases influence legal cases. She joined the lab in the Spring 2020 semester as a research assistant. Outside of the lab, she enjoys painting and embroidery.

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Jenna Tracy

Jenna Tracy is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences at NYU. She is majoring in psychology and minoring in politics. Jenna is broadly interested in relationships between political ideology and gender and racial identities. She hopes to see how political polarization takes shape in response to identity threats and how stereotypes influence our perception of political and socio-cultural movements/issues. Outside of the lab, Jenna is passionate about the environment, trying new food, and traveling.

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Patrick Pamatmat

Patrick is a Master’s Student in Psychology at NYU. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Education from the University of California, Davis. Prior to NYU, he built out and spearheaded user research operations for Facebook’s Enterprise Engineering/Design Research team and was also a Research Assistant at Dr. Wendy Berry Mendes’ lab at the University of California, San Francisco. Broadly speaking, Patrick’s research interests revolve around how race, gender, and class shape intergroup attitudes and relations. At the West Interpersonal Perception Lab, he primarily works with Ashley Berkebile-Weinberg. Outside of research, he enjoys running, music, and travel.

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Laela Lunt

My name is Laela Lunt and I am a rising junior at NYU majoring in Psychology with a minor in Child & Adolescent Mental Health Studies. I enjoy working with and learning about individuals struggling with mental disorders and illnesses, and aim to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology to ultimately work in therapy with such individuals. I am currently investigating the vast field of Psychology through my work as a research assistant, and look forward to digging deeper within the subject to discover how I might integrate my passion for equine therapy and clinical work. Outside of lab I enjoy cooking, traveling, and volunteering at a mental hospital.

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J.W. Chin

J.W. is a junior Psychology major in NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences. They are interested in studying perceptions of queer individuals and the neural mechanisms associated with these perceptions as well as interactions between queer and non-queer people. Currently, they plan on either pursuing a Ph.D in either Social or Clinical Psychology or an MSW in order to work as a therapist for people in marginalized communities. While not in the lab, J.W. enjoys inline-skating around NYC and performing with NYU’s step team.

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Eliana Aronson

Eliana is a junior at NYU Gallatin concentrating in Psychology and Criminal justice with a focus on mass incarceration in the United States. Eliana has been working with the West Lab since the summer of 2016, and intends to apply a forensic lens to the study of interpersonal dynamics.

Past Lab Members

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Kate Thorson

Kate will be an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Barnard College beginning in the fall of 2020. She recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at NYU, where she also earned my PhD in psychology, with a major in social psychology and a minor in quantitative psychology. She received my BA in psychology, with a minor in dance, from Bates College. Broadly, Kate studies fundamental processes in interpersonal interactions. She examine questions regarding interpersonal communication and influence, as well as physiological correlates of these processes, by studying face-to-face social interactions. She captures psychological, behavioral, and physiological processes as they naturally unfold over time, and she develops and employs novel analytic techniques and new methods for physiological and behavioral measurement. Her website can be found here, and her CV can be found here.

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Tina Sundelin

Tina got her PhD in psychology from Stockholm University in 2015, focusing on how sleep-deprived people are perceived by others. She is interested in the social effects of sleep loss and her current research explores social abilities and dyadic interactions following insufficient sleep. Her postdoc is in collaboration with Tessa West at NYU and John Axelsson at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Dory Gurinsky

Dory graduated from NYU with a BA in Psychology. She worked as an RA in the lab since her Sophomore year and transitioned into the lab manager position in the summer of 2018. Dory will be a Master’s student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at NYU starting Fall 2020. She will also be the Fraternity and Sorority Life Graduate Assistant in the Office of Student Life at NYU.

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Allie Degen

Allie graduated from NYU CAS in 2019 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies. She joined the West Lab as a research assistant in the summer of 2017 and transitioned into the lab manager position in 2018. During her senior year, she completed her honors thesis in psychology, in which she studied how race and power interact to affect perceptions of behavioral dominance. She is now working as a 5th and 6th grade science teacher through Teach For America in the South Coast region of Massachusetts.

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Gaelin Bernstein

Gaelin graduated from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in Criminology and Data Analytics and a minor in Computer Science in 2018. She joined the West Lab in January 2015 as a Research Assistant, and transitioned into the position of Lab Manager in Fall 2016. Last year she completed her Honors Thesis in Psychology on how gender affects individuals' attitudes towards deviance. She is now working as a technology analyst at the Manhattan District Attorneys office.

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Kim Bourne

Kim was the lab manager of the West Lab from 2016-2017 after she graduated from Colby College in 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish. After her time at NYU she spent two years working as a lab manager for the Davidson Intergroup Studies Lab at Davidson College, directed by Dr. Jessica Good. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Washington, under the advisement of Dr. Cynthia Levine. Her research interests are broadly centered around the social, behavioral, and health implications of diversity and inequality for both advantaged and disadvantaged groups. You can find out more about Kim's research here.

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Chadly Stern

Chadly is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research examines how the motivations of liberals and conservatives influence their perceptions of the social world, and how these perceptions can shape large-scale outcomes. His website is http://www.chadlystern.com/.

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Odile Rodrik

Odile is a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She graduated with her B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies from New York University in 2016. Following graduation, she worked as a post-baccalaureate lab manager for two years at the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab at Columbia University. Odile is broadly interested in the relationship between emotion (dys)regulation and maladaptive behavioral outcomes. She uses physiological and behavioral methods to understand emotion regulation success and failure in various populations, including incarcerated individuals with varying levels of psychopathy, and those with lesions on their ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Her twitter handle is @rodrikodile.

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Emily Badin

Emily was the lab manager and an Honor's student at the West lab from 2014-2015. She graduated from NYU in 2015 with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies (CAMS). She is currently the CAMS Program Advisor and Grand Rounds Coordinator at the Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center. In the fall of 2017 she will be pursuing a PsyD at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Studies (GSAPP) at Rutger's University. At GSAPP, she will be working with Dr. Brian Chu, studying assessment and treatment of anxiety and depression disorders in youth, with a special emphasis on the dissemination of evidence-based practice, mechanisms of change, and transdiagnostic approaches to understanding youth disorders.

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Danusha Selva Kumar

Danusha Selva Kumar was a Research Assistant at the West lab from 2014 - 2015. At the West lab, she completed an independent research project through the Dean's Undergraduate Research Fund. She graduated from NYU in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Child & Adolescent Mental Health Studies. Since graduating, Danusha has been a Research Coordinator at CASPIR, an addictions lab at Northwell Health. At CASPIR, she worked on multiple randomized controlled trials on individuals looking to reduce alcohol use, as well as technology-based interventions. In the Fall of 2018, Danusha will begin her PhD in Clinical Psychology program at Fordham University. At Fordham, she will be working with Dr. Haruka Minami, researching novel interventions for smoking cessation particularly among vulnerable and underserved populations.

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Sarah Gordon

Sarah Gordon is an assistant professor in the department of Health Law, Policy, and Management at the Boston University School of Public Health. She received her doctorate in Health Services Research from the Brown University School of Public Health in the health economics concentration. Her research interests are in healthcare access and quality, policies that impact vulnerable populations, and health insurance. She is the recipient of an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) R36 Dissertation Award, the Brown University Public Health Impact Award, and is a 2019 AcademyHealth/VHA Office of Health Equity Scholar. She holds a Master of Science in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

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Lindy Gullet

I'm currently running my family's winery, Vino Noceto. We are located in Amador County in California. I use my degree every day. Not only did my research focus on managing diverse work groups, which I now do every day, but while working in Tessa's lab, I got a lot of experience overseeing and mentoring undergraduate researchers. Plus, knowing about psychology has given me a huge leg up when I'm making marketing choices, and I still use mturk to run surveys and test products! My website is www.noceto.com.