Lab Director

Jennifer A. Richeson, Ph.D

Jennifer A. Richeson is the Philip R. Allen Professor of Psychology at Yale University and Director of the Social Perception and Communication Lab. She received a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Brown University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University. Prior to joining the Yale faculty in 2016, she was the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, where she was also a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research. Through her research and teaching, Professor Richeson hopes to identify ways to create cohesive environments that are also culturally diverse. When not in the lab, Professor Richeson likes to run around with her dog, Achilles, play word and card games, and comment on politics and current events. [cv bio]

Post-Doctoral Associate

Ivuoma N. Onyeador, PhD

Ivy is a postdoctoral associate in the Social Perception and Communication Lab (SPCL). She earned her B.S. in Psychology with distinction from Yale University in 2011. Ivy served in the Yale University Chaplain’s Office as a Woodbridge Fellow before attending graduate school at UCLA, where she earned her Ph.D in 2017. Her research examines bias and responses to bias from dominant and subordinate group members. She is especially interested in modern manifestations of bias in organizations. In her free time she enjoys discussing current events and pop culture on the internet.  

Graduate Students

Natalie M. Daumeyer

Natalie is a third year graduate student at Yale. She graduated in 2014 from Miami University with a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Individualized Studies with a focus in Social Justice Issues: Power and Privilege in Society. Natalie’s research interests broadly fall under the umbrella of stereotyping, prejudice, and intergroup relations. More specifically, she is interested in how people make sense of implicit bias and how framing bias as implicit compared to explicit influences perceptions of discrimination. When not in the lab, you can either find Natalie at the gym, watching Netflix, or cooking.

Julian M. Rucker

Julian is a third year doctoral student at Yale. He is primarily interested in the relationship between lay perceptions of discrimination and subsequent support for efforts to address social inequality. Before coming to Yale, Julian earned a B.A. in Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin and received a M.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University. He served as a lab manager for the Mind & Identity in Context Lab at Indiana University before joining the SPCL. In his free time, he likes playing guitar and binging on documentaries and college football. [cv]

Xanni Brown

Xanni is a second year doctoral student in the social psychology program. She graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in Social Studies from Harvard University, where she also worked in the Sidanius Intergroup Psychology Lab. Xanni’s research interests include intergroup relations, inequality, empathy, and political psychology. Her non-research interests include campaign finance reform, bicycle touring, and rugby.

Ajua Duker

Ajua is a second year doctoral student in the SPCL. Her interests include intergroup relations broadly, but she plans to examine cognitive, physiological, and behavioral responses of marginalized group members. She received her B.S. from Yale in 2015, and was the lab manager for the Socio-Cognitive Processes Lab under Professor Alin Coman at Princeton University for two years. She is also interested in moral psychology, social networks, and norms. In her free time, she enjoys ballet and contemporary dance, music, going to art museums, and taking long walks.

Estée Rubien-Thomas

estée is a third year ph.d. student in the neuroscience area of the psychology graduate program, working primarily with dr. bj casey.  she graduated from wesleyan university in 2013 with a major in neuroscience and behavior, after which she worked and learned neuroimaging techniques in the dystonia and motor control lab at the mount sinai medical center in new york city.  estée is interested in bridging social psychology and neuroscience to explore the neural circuitry underlying cognition and behavior during interracial encounters.  when not in lab, estée enjoys baking elaborate desserts and spending as much time as she can with the various dogs in her life!

Brian Earp

Brian is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy as well as a graduate student in philosophy and psychology (joint degree program) here at Yale. His undergraduate degree was in cognitive science from Yale, where his senior thesis was awarded the Robert G. Crowder Prize, followed by a master’s degree in experimental psychology from the University of Oxford and a second master’s degree in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge. In addition to more theoretical work in philosophy and bioethics, Brian uses empirical methods to study a range of issues, including racial and gender biases in pain perception and how cultural background influences people’s understanding of harm. His published papers are available open access here

Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellow

Chelsey Clark 

chelsey clark is a post-baccalaureate research fellow in the psychology department where she conducts research both in the comparative cognition laboratory with dr. laurie santos and spcl. she graduated from yale college in 2017 with a b.s. in psychology on the neuroscience track. chelsey’s research focuses on intergroup cognition and interaction, and she works with a variety of species including canines, monkeys, and humans. in her free time, she enjoys watching movies, spending time with friends and family, and playing with her dog.

Senior Honors Students

Kaylan Burchfield

kaylan burchfield is a senior in trumbull college majoring in psychology (b.s.). her senior thesis takes a closer look at implicit bias attribution between majority-minority groups and compares them to see how different groups understand and account for racial prejudice. kaylan is interested in mitigating the mental shortcuts that our minds take when analyzing people of different social groups; while these heuristics are useful, she understands that they can also be dangerous. kaylan hopes to one day pursue a ph.d. in social psychology, and if she isn’t in the lab, you can find her with the pi alpha chapter of delta sigma theta sorority, inc., whim ’n rhythm, or frocoing her frosh.

Ayotunde Ifaturoti

ayotunde ifaturoti is a senior psychology major in pauli murray college. she is a member of the mellon mays undergraduate research fellowship program at yale and recipient of the robertson bouchet fellowship. she has conducted research in the social perceptions lab for two years and is interested in investigating the nature of color-blind racial attitudes. her senior thesis investigates how the threat of becoming a racial minority may affect white americans’ conceptions of color-blind racial justice. besides research, she is editor-in-chief of broad recognition, a feminist publication at yale, and also enjoys creative writing.

Research Assistants

Kate Zendell

kate zendell is a senior psychology major in silliman college. she has served as a research assistant in the social perception and communication lab since spring 2018. kate is also a member of the yale cross country and track and field teams. in her free time, she enjoys being outside, reading, and hanging out with her friends. 

Abigail Hopkins

abigail hopkins is a sophomore in saybrook college.  she has served as a research assistant in the social perception and communication lab since spring of 2018.  from buffalo, ny, abby loves supporting the bills despite how difficult it sometimes is.  outside of her work with the lab, abby sings in an all-women’s a cappella group, called the new blue, and she also is a leader for the first-year outdoor orientation trips.  

Tosan Agbeyegbe


Tosan Agbeyegbe is a junior in Jonathan Edwards college.  He has served as a research assistant in the social perception and communication lab since summer of 2018.  From Toronto, ON, Tosan is a member of the Yale football team.  Outside of his lab work, Tosan is a member of Athletes in Action and enjoys playing games, watching soccer and eating.

Sneha Mittal

Sneha Mittal is a junior in Pierson College. She has served as a research assistant in the Social Perception and Communication lab since summer of 2018. Outside of lab, Sneha performs with Yale Rangeela, a Bollywood fusion dance group, and served as a board member of the South Asian Society for the past two years. She is also a leader for First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT).




Former Postdoctoral Fellows

Michelle Rheinschmidt-Same, PhD (UC Berkeley), SPCL Postdoc (2014-16)

Shanette Porter, PhD 2010 (Cornell), SPCL Posdoc (2010-2012), Senior Research Analyst, University of Chicago Consortium on School Research

Evan Apfelbaum, PhD 2009 (Tufts) SPCL Postdoc (2009-2011), Assistant Professor, MIT

Mary Murphy, PhD 2007 (Stanford) SPCL Postdoc (2007-2009), Associate Professor, Indiana University, Bloomington

Former PhD Advisees

Dorainne J. Levy, PhD 2016; Postdoctoral Fellow, Indiana University

Maureen A. Craig, PhD 2014; Assistant Professor, New York University

Katie Rotella, PhD 2013; Johnson & Johnson, Inc.

Destiny Peery, JD/PhD 2012; Assistant Professor, Northwestern Law School

Meghan Bean, PhD 2011

Sarah Johnson, PhD 2009

Sophie Trawalter, PhD 2006; Associate Professor, The University of Virginia