Sarah E. Gaither

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Tufts University 2014

  • M.S., Tufts University 2009

  • B.A., University of California at Berkeley 2007

Overview

Humans are fundamentally social beings, and their interactions represent a core aspect of human nature. My research focuses on how individuals’ social identities and experiences across the lifespan motivate their social perceptions and behaviors particularly in diverse settings.

More specifically I am interested in three main questions:
1) how intergroup contact shapes interracial interaction outcomes for both racial majority and racial minority individuals
2) how having multiple racial or social identities more broadly affects various types of behavior including complex thinking, social behavior, and identity malleability
3) what contexts in particular may influence how people perceive or socially categorize each other across group boundaries

Therefore, the overall goal of my research program is to investigate the attitudinal and behavioral effects stemming from exposure to racial and gender diversity as a means to pinpoint pathways that one can utilize to foster more positive group relations for both adult and child populations. By exploring the developmental origins of social identity and intergroup perceptions we can pinpoint some of the antecedents that predict adult behavior in diverse settings.

Expertise

biracial and social identities, interracial interactions, racial categorizations, social development

Gaither, SE, Remedios, JD, Schultz, JR, Maddox, KB, and Sommers, SR. "Examining the Effects of I-Sharing for Future White-Black Interactions." Social Psychology 47.3 (May 2016): 125-135. Full Text

Gaither, SE, Pauker, K, Slepian, ML, and Sommers, SR. "Social belonging motivates categorization of racially ambiguous faces." Social Cognition 34.2 (April 1, 2016): 97-118.

Gaither, SE, Remedios, JD, Schultz, JR, and Sommers, SR. "Priming White identity elicits stereotype boost for biracial Black-White individuals." Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 18.6 (November 2015): 778-787. Full Text

Gaither, SE, Remedios, JD, Sanchez, DT, and Sommers, SR. "Thinking Outside the Box." Social Psychological and Personality Science 6.5 (July 2015): 596-603. Full Text

Howell, JL, Gaither, SE, and Ratliff, KA. "Caught in the Middle." Social Psychological and Personality Science 6.4 (May 2015): 373-381. Full Text

Gaither, SE. "“Mixed” Results." Current Directions in Psychological Science 24.2 (April 2015): 114-119. Full Text

Gaither, SE, Cohen-Goldberg, AM, Gidney, CL, Maddox, KB, Gidney, CL, and Gidney, CL. "Sounding Black or White: priming identity and biracial speech." Frontiers in psychology 6 (January 2015): 457-. Full Text

Schultz, JR, Gaither, SE, Urry, HL, and Maddox, KB. "Reframing anxiety to encourage interracial interactions." Translational Issues in Psychological Science 1.4 (2015): 392-400. Full Text

Gaither, SE, Wilton, LS, and Young, DM. "Perceiving a Presidency in Black (and White): Four Years Later." Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy 14.1 (December 2014): 7-21. Full Text

Gaither, SE, Chen, EE, Corriveau, KH, Harris, PL, Ambady, N, and Sommers, SR. "Monoracial and biracial children: effects of racial identity saliency on social learning and social preferences." Child development 85.6 (November 2014): 2299-2316. Full Text

Pages

Unacknowledged Identities and Health Outcomes for Biracial and Bicultural Individuals awarded by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (Principal Investigator). 2017