A social identities study by Colleen Carpinella ’09 was recently published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, a monthly journal that is comprised of peer-reviewed articles exploring all aspects of personality and social psychology.
The study, “Gendered Facial Cues Influence Race Categorizations,” determines how gender and race are linked in societal conceptions. Currently, Carpinella is a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the Intergroup Social Perception (ISP) Lab. Carpinella collaborated on the study with Jacqueline M. Chen, an assistant professor at University of California, Irvine; David L. Hamilton, a research professor at University of California, Santa Barbara; and Kerri L. Johnson, an associate professor at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
“In the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin piece, my collaborators and I demonstrated that the visual presence of one social identity category (e.g., gender) biased the perception of another social identity (e.g., race),” Carpinella explains.
In another line of research, she says, she examines how gender stereotypes/roles manifest in politicians’ appearance and subsequently impact perceptions of politicians’ leadership abilities. Carpinella’s overall research investigates how intersecting social identities such as race and gender, gender and politics bias person perception and have evaluative and political outcomes.
At HWS, Carpinella was a psychology and public policy studies double major and women’s studies minor. She was a member of Hai Timiai, William Smith Congress, the Laurel Society and Phi Beta Kappa. Carpinella played tennis and studied abroad in Maastricht, Netherlands. She graduated summa cum laude.
“The encouragement I received from professors to develop my own research ideas in the early stages of my career helped me immensely as an academic scholar,” Carpinella says.
As an undergraduate, Carpinella worked as a research assistant for a visual perception lab, conducted an independent research project in the Women’s Studies Department with Professor of Women’s Studies Betty Bayer and served as a teaching assistant in multicultural education with former William Smith Dean Dr. Cerri Banks. Carpinella also participated in the Summer Science Research Program during which she conducted research in the Psychology Department.
“Experiencing interdisciplinary research firsthand allowed me to imagine the possibilities for my own research and reinforced the notion that research can be a cross-disciplinary endeavor,” Carpinella says. “Ultimately, having the opportunity to conduct research that was highly interdisciplinary and being exposed to research with multiple faculty members prepared me to pursue my doctorate in social psychology.”
Following her time at the Colleges, Carpinella went on to earn a master’s degree in 2010 and her doctorate in social psychology from UCLA in 2014.