Current Projects

How Does Gender Essentialism Influence Stereotypes of Transgender Groups?

The growing visibility of transgender groups within the US represents a cultural change in everyday models of gender. In this context, I study how non-transgender people stereotype transgender women and transgender men. I focus especially on how one's ontology of gender - one's sense of what gender is and from where gender emerges - guides these stereotypes. (Preprint)

How Does COVID-19 Affect Intergroup Bias?

The COVID-19 pandemic is driving dramatic changes in American city. As a social psychologist, I am particularly interested in whether the emergence of the virus is affecting intergroup relations within the US.

What Do We Mean When We Say "Essentialism"?

As research on psychological essentialism has grown and been adapted across different areas of psychology, many different measures have been developed and applied. Are we all talking about the same thing? To answer this question, I am taking a comprehensive look at the methodology and subject pools of all work published on essentialism of human social categories in adults.

 

Does Ingroup Preference Predict Expected Social Homophily?

Social life in the US is strongly segregated by race (here's an interesting podcast about some of the history). In this project, I consider whether people expect strangers to have racially homogeneous social environments, and how this is predicted by life experience and individual differences. 

Do Elections Alter Our Mental Representations of Political Groups?

A growing body of research in the US focuses on political polarization - the idea that political ideology is a growing fault line in American life, with decreasing willingness to create relationships and collaborate across party lines. Before and after the 2018 election (graph to the left), we saw that both Republican and Democratic participants disliked their outgroup more (e.g. showed more polarization) when they judged the outgroup to be a more discrete social category. In this project, we study whether mental representations of political groups are changing during the 2020 election cycle, with implications for intergroup polarization.

©2020 by Natalie Gallagher   |   NatalieG@U.Northwestern.edu