Race and Ethnic Psychology Lab Information

Social Psychology & Psychology and Law Programs

Research in the lab is focused on the influence of context and culture for social cognitive and motivational processes that accompany decision making and outcomes for ethnic minorities. Our research examines the ideological origins of "racial"/ethnic bias, including content of and motivations for bias, at the individual, cultural, and structural levels. For example, we examine the influence of racial and ethnic bias on legal decision-making in areas such as immigration, criminal culpability, and violence. In addition, we focus on the ways in which ethnic identity and ethnic identity maintenance can impact daily life (e.g., increased perceptions of discrimination, health related outcomes), but buffer the effects of bias and positively influence our responses to discrimination and stress.

"Social research should be one of the top priorities for the practical job of improving intergroup relations" Kurt Lewin (1946).

For the latest events and data see the Southern Poverty Law Center at https://www.splcenter.org/?utm_campaign=180331%20Weekend%20Read%2073&utm_medium=email&utm_source=EOACLK

Along with Dr. Joseph Gone and Dr. Kevin Cokely. Willis Esqueda, C. (2018, July 21). Reflections on joint appointments in psychology and ethnic studies. In J. Gone (chair), Ethnic Studies and Psychology: Emancipatory Prospects and Cross-Disciplinary Challenges. Paper presented at the annual meeting of Division 45 – Society for the Psychological Study of Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. Austin, TX.

The Unwelcome Revival of Race Science by Gavin Evans. Read it at https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/02/the-unwelcome-revival-of-race-science

Kiley Gilbert received a UCARE award in 2017-2018 (Bias Against Immigrants: American Identity or Cultural Inertia?) and again in 2018-2019 (Forever Guilty: Inherent Perceptions of Criminality). 

Segregation, school funding inequalities still punishing Black, Latino students by Associated Press and Ariel Jao / Jan.12.2018 / 3:20 PM ET. Find the story at: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/segregation-school-funding-inequalities-still-punishing-black-latino-students-n837186.

Sad news about the passing of Joseph L. White, professor of Psychology at UC Irvine.
Considered the "Father of Black Psychology", Dr. White was a true innovator
in the field of ethnic psychology.
He made a lasting impression on me, when he visited
the UNL campus several years ago.

Robert A. Morris Lectures! 

Nyla Branscombe, PhD, gave a talk titled "When and why are victims expected to be more humanitarian than non-victims?" on November 17. Dr. Branscombe is an internationally known scholar on issues related to intergroup conflicts, social identity, and group privilege.

Monica Biernat, PhD, gave a talk on November 17. Dr. Biernat's talk is titled "Stereotypes as shifting standards: Giving and translating feedback". Dr. Biernat is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and of American Psychological Association. She is the current editor of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Dr. Biernat's research has focused on gender issues and how stereotypes influence attributions and attitudinal assessments. 

PSYCH2GO Interview on the benefits of knowing about race and ethnicity for psychology research at http://psych2go.net/benefits-ethnic-racial-understanding-behavior/

New Student Organization focuses on United Nations issues and international conflict. Check out the facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/UNAUNLincoln/

Willis-Esqueda, C., & Fenn, E. (2017, July 20). Mentorship: Helping Minority Students Reach Their Full Potential. (T. Clomax, Moderator). American Psychology-Law Society. Webinar at http://www.apls-students.org/webinars.html.

See our facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/race.ethnicity.immigration/

Check out the podcast from June 5, 2017 on NPR with Mahzarin BanajiEric HehmanSeth Stephens-Davidowitz, and Joshua Correll. You'll also hear from Philip Tetlock. The podcast explains how cognitive processing can produce biased outcomes (including police shootings). http://www.npr.org/2017/06/05/531578107/the-thumbprint-of-the-culture-implicit-bias-and-police-shootings

Mechelen, Belgium, European Association of Psychology and Law, 2017. Great conference with great people!

Cynthia Willis Esqueda was a keynote speaker at European Association of Psychology and Law, Mechelen, Belgium, May 30, 2017! The title of the talk was Intercultural and Ethnic Issues in Immigration.

Joe Hams (Levine Diversity Research Award) and Madeline Schlosser (Harry K. Wolfe Award) take top honors in 2017! Congratulations! 

Cynthia Willis-Esqueda is the highlighted member for SPSP news. Read the interview at http://spsp.org/member-spotlight/cynthia-willis-esqueda

Cynthia Willis Esqueda and Jordan Blenner (UNL PhD/JD 2015) are examing Latinos and Bias in the Death Penalty in a series of studies that highlight misperceptions of evidentiary materials in decision making.
The interaction of disparate cultures, the vehemence of the ideals that led the immigrants here, the opportunity offered by a new life, all gave America a flavor and a character that make it as unmistakable and as remarkable to people today as it was to Alexis de Tocqueville in the early part of the nineteenth century (Kennedy, J. F., 1964).

Watch the videos on the topic of psychology and law from the Minority Affairs Committee of the American Psychology and Law Society (APLS) at the links below!



Minority Affairs Committee (MAC) has a scholarship for undergraduate students who wish to enter graduate training in the psychology and law field.  Contact Dr. Esqueda for more details!

Cynthia Willis-Esqueda and Stephane Shepherd were in the news. Turning Native Kids into Criminals. Indian County Today.


Reception for Dr. Lawrence S. Wrightsman, Jr. in honor of the book to commemorate his numerous contributions to Psychology and Law. February 26, 2016.

"We are born with an identity but not a self" - Baumeister (Midwestern Psychological Association, 2015).


Ed Asner and Cynthia Willis Esqueda at the annual Death Penalty Focus dinner, Los Angeles, May 7, 2015

Ivan Avila graduates from University of Texas, Brownsville!

Dr. Cynthia Willis Esqueda, Ms. Sybrina Fulton, and Alexandra Esqueda. Ms. Fulton is the mother of Trayvon Martin, and  she has become an advocate for social justice. You can see more about her work at the Trayvon Martin Foundation.org. She is kind, thoughtful, articulate, and willing to make a difference in the world. We were honored to hear her talk at UNL, February 18, 2015

Our Lab Students are Committed to Social Justice

Cynthia Willis Esqueda in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The article focuses on how our College of Arts and Sciences is making positive changes to enhance Ethnic Studies joint appointed faculty! 

Quote of the day:
'As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest." ~ Nelson Mandela at the launch of the ‘Make Poverty History ’ campaign, Trafalgar Square, London, England, 3 February 2005.