The Sydney University Psychology of Intergroup Relations (SUPIR) Lab is dedicated to the psychological study of intergroup relations, diversity, and stigma.
We integrate a range of empirical methodologies from social psychology, social cognition, developmental psychology, field research, and psychophysiology. While our research has an Australian focus, its scope is international, with broad applications for social policy and interventions to promote social harmony.
Lauren J. Harvey
The SUPIR Lab welcomes both domestic and international candidates to pursue a rewarding higher research degree (including a Doctor of Philosophy or a Master of Science) within The University of Sydney's School of Psychology. The Lab provides students with a supportive and collaborative environment that helps nurture the critical mindset and diligent research approach necessary for them to succeed as future independent researchers.
The School of Psychology offers a well-resourced and stimulating intellectual environment for research students and offers competitive top-up scholarships, teaching fellowships, and financial support to attend national and international conferences. More information.
Research projects can cover any topic in the extensive field of prejudice, diversity, and intergroup relations.
Examples of current and previous research topics include:
The SUPIR Lab encourages undergraduate students to undertake their Honours empirical project under the supervision of principal investigator, Professor Fiona White. The Lab will provide students with a great research environment and a nurturing support network to guide them successfully through their Honours year. More information.
Examples of current and previous research topics include:
The SUPIR Lab provides third-year psychology students at the University of Sydney with the opportunity to engage with psychology research first hand. VRAs attend fortnightly meetings discussing issues in social psychology research, assist PhD and Masters students with their research projects, and also gain insight into whats involved in Psychology Honours.
Examples of VRA research activities include:
Fiona's work centers around the development of effective social-cognitive strategies to reduce the many types of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination that continue to pervade society. In doing so, her research aims to improve intergroup relations for both minority and majority groups in the short- and long-term. Of particular interest are intergroup strategies that integrate cooperative contact (i.e., imagined, extended, and E-contact) and identity recategorisation (i.e., common vs. dual identity).
Lauren is a third year doctoral and masters of clinical psychology student. For her Honours' project in 2012, she devised a novel E-contact paradigm, whereby participants were vicariously exposed to intergroup contact online. Currently, she has been assisting in devising, piloting, and testing a new E-contact paradigm. Coming from a multicultural background herself, her research interests include: the impact of stigma and immigration on mental health outcomes, online interventions to promote behavioural change, and cognitive recategorisation strategies to facilitate prejudice reduction and acculturation.
Ruth is a PhD candidate whose research focuses on the school experiences of sexual minority and trans and gender non-conforming youth. The years she spent working as a pre-school teacher and teacher’s aide inspired her current research, which addresses the perceived and real obstacles that prevent teachers from implementing inclusive changes in their classrooms. In addition to an undergraduate background in psychology and English literature (CSULB), Ruth has earned a Master’s in English Literature and Master’s in Sexuality Studies (receiving the department’s Distinguished Achievement Award) from San Francisco State University. As her diverse academic background and social-justice focused research suggest, she believes in an interdisciplinary and solution-oriented approach to her research.
Rachel is a third-year PhD candidate interested in reducing stigma against people with mental illness. She joined in the SUPIR Lab in 2016 as an Honours student investigating the effectiveness of intergroup E-contact at reducing public stigma against people with schizophrenia. Now, her focus has expanded to include other intergroup contact strategies and mental illnesses. She seeks to inform future research and public stigma-reduction campaigns of factors that influence the effectiveness of contact interventions. Rachel is also interested in whether the contact hypothesis can be extended to intragroup contact as a means of reducing internalised stigma, an avenue that has not been considered previously. She is passionate about providing undergraduate students with research experience through the SUPIR Lab.
Amaani Hatoum is currently undertaking her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology. She has previously completed a Bachelor of Science and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology at the University of Sydney. She is a Palestinian-Australian with a passion for finding strategies to improve intergroup relations between different religious and ethnic groups, particularly due to her personal connection to the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict. She hopes to contribute to future research that could improve intergroup dynamics and reduce conflict. Amaani is also interested in completing a Masters of Clinical Psychology in future to further contribute to both individual and community mental health.
Jackie is a fourth year Bachelor of Psychology student who is completing her honours year with the SUPIR Lab. Since her teenage years, Jackie has moved between Hong Kong and Sydney, and from then onwards has been learning how to negotiate and find meaning in her cultural identity. This process has sparked Jackie’s interest in intergroup relationships. In particular, how stereotypes form and the extent to which those being stereotyped subconsciously conform to these ideas; as well as how those with hyphenated racial identities balance between the different expectations that are prescribed to them. As such, the lab offers Jackie a collaborative environment to which she hopes to both learn from, and contribute towards.
Roberta is a fourth-year undergraduate Honours student enrolled in the Bachelor of Psychology (Honours). She is particularly interested in the social and clinical aspects of psychology. Her current research involves bias reduction within the political atmosphere via E-contact. Roberta’s future aspiration is to progress to postgraduate work in clinical psychology.
Lauren is currently in her final year of a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology and Germanic Studies. Lauren is interested in the social factors that influence prejudice and stigma, and strategies to reduce negative stereotyping and discrimination. Coming from a background in childcare, she is particularly interested in developmental psychology and promoting positive intergroup relations in young people.
Mohini is a 3rd year of Bachelor of Psychology student majoring in Psychology and minoring in Economic Policy. She is particularly interested in understanding whether stereotypes and prejudice are innate aspects of human nature or whether they are something that is conditioned and learned from the external environment that we are surrounded by. Mohini very excited to be joining the SUPIR Lab and hopes to assist the Lab with its research aims.
Danny is a 20-year-old third year psychology student who also studies modern history. He loves studying the cultural elements of social psychology and how changing perceptions of mental health in young adults and children have influenced and created new opportunities for growth with technology around psychological issues. Danny is very interested in both clinical and research psychology, particularly with understanding the processes behind developing and refining past theories.
Jill is a third-year Bachelor of Psychology student. She is interested in group behaviour and dynamics, especially how an individual’s psychology can be influenced by the social groups they identify with. Jill is also interested in prejudice and stigma and their effects on an individual’s wellbeing. Jill is also passionate about accessibility to mental health services.
Bri is currently completing her third year of psychology in a Graduate Diploma of Psychology. She currently works as an occupational therapist with a focus on a population of children with learning difficulties, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is particularly interested in the impact of perceived inter-personal differences in prejudice and relationships, with a desire to reduce negative perceptions towards those in minority groups. Bri is passionate about research and supporting all individuals to achieve social and emotional wellbeing.
Timothy is a third year Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies student, majoring in Psychological Science and Data Science. He is interested in research exploring strategies that can promote harmony between different cultural groups. Timothy is concurrently completing a Diploma of Language Studies, majoring in Chinese Studies. He hopes that, by assisting with research at the SUPIR Lab, he will develop a better understanding of how the knowledge and skills he has developed through his studies can help him contribute towards social progress.
Aneeta is a third-year Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies student majoring in Psychology and French. She is interested in cognitive and social psychology. As she has grown up in multiple countries, she is interested in understanding the differences in behaviour across different cultures and particularly differences in responses to certain stimuli across different cultures. Another area of interest is mental health research, interventions and increasing awareness, particularly in countries where mental health is often not recognized.
Claire is a third-year Bachelor of Psychology student majoring in psychology and sociology. She is interested in clinical and social psychology. Claire is keen to examine strategies for reducing implicit bias and promoting behavioural change. She is also interested in group behaviour and how do self-perceptions affect social interactions.
Jordon is a third year Bachelor of Arts student studying Psychology and Sociology. She was introduced to psychology at a young age by her mother who is a clinical psychologist and she has grown up with a keen interest in it. Jordan is particularly interested in clinical and social psychology. She is looking forward to researching the stigma surrounding mental illness and how the reduction of such stigma and prejudice can enhance people's lives. Finally, Jordan is interested in exploring the formation of racial prejudice and learning about the strategies for reducing prejudice between members of different groups.
Sujeong is currently studying to attain a Bachelor of Social Work and has previously completed a major in psychology. Sujeong is interested in understanding why people behave the way they do, such as in different social groups, what psychological process influence behaviour, and mental health. Sujeong is looking forward to exploring intergroup relations and the psychology of stigma.
Claudia is a third-year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in Psychology and Socio-Legal Studies. She is particularly interested in examining the impact that the law has on bias and discrimination within society, and is interested in investigating methods of reducing both explicit and implicit discrimination and bias. She is passionate about helping individuals and looks forward to the research she will undertake in the SUPIR lab this year.
Betty completed her PhD in the School of Psychology in 2014, with Professor Fiona White as part of her supervisory team. She has a firm research interest in understanding how the early environment can best support children’s development, and what can be done to tackle social inequality and disadvantage. She is currently a Research Associate at the Research Centre for Children and Families within the Sydney School of Education and Social Work at the university, and is conducting applied research in the area of permanency for children and young people in out-of-home care in Australia. Her current work includes a collaboration with Professor White and VRAs in developing a systematic review of the psychological impact of stigma experienced by children and youth in foster care.