Dr. Elizabeth Page-Gould
My research examines how the subjective, physiological, and behavioural levels of experience all play into the way we perceive and organise knowledge about the social world. My four major lines of research include: (1) cross-group friendship; (2) intergroup contact and social interaction; (3) intergroup factors in chronic stress and health; (4) the role of physiological experience in moral decision-making. To answer these questions, my research simultaneously combines dyadic, psychophysiological, longitudinal, social cognitive, behavioural, self-report, and quantitative methods to provide a comprehensive understanding of the factors that affect the way people navigate their social worlds.
Primary Graduate Students
I am interested in the factors that predict intergroup conflict and cross-group friendship. My current lines of research examine: (1) how perceptions of similarity and conflict affect interest in cross-group friendship, (2) the consequences of money and money-related beliefs on intergroup relationships, and (3) whether and how meditation experience can be used to encourage cross-group friendships. My methodological approach is multi-faceted, incorporating psychophysiological and neuroscientific instrumentation, self-report, and behavioural measures as well as dyadic and group-based experimental designs.
I am interested in using social psychology to explore how people interact with environmental issues by examining predictors of proenvironmental behaviour and identity. For my Master’s, I am investigating the attitudes, behaviors, and emotions that predict voting for environmentally friendly candidates in national elections. In another line of work, I am interested in exploring how we can increase environmentalist identities by first increasing proenvironmental behaviors.
Broadly, I am interested in the factors that predict intergroup attitudes and behaviour. Research suggests that contact with members of social outgroups reduces prejudice, but what factors predict positive cross-group contact? Moreover, how do media depictions of social groups and intergroup relations impact cross-group interaction in daily life? To unpack these questions, I use a multimethod approach combining psychophysiological, cognitive, behavioural, and self-report measures.
I am generally interested in how the diversity of social networks affects attitudes towards various social groups. Specifically, my work centres on a growing body of evidence that knowing people with cross-group friends improves attitudes towards the friend’s group as a whole. Extending this idea, I am interested in when this effect is weaker or stronger. How does the structure of one’s social network play a role? For what kind of attitudes does this indirect friendship improve the most? In answering questions such as these, I hope to learn how to maximize the benefits of one’s friendship network to improve intergroup harmony.