Yazmin Meza Lazaro's Summer 2019 SPUR Reflection

Meza Lazaro headshotI had the pleasure of spending my summer at Tufts University working with Dr. Remedios in the Social Identity and Stigma (SIS) Lab. This was a summer of firsts as I headed to the East Coast and worked in an experimental social psychology lab for the very first time. Luckily, I had the support of Dr. Remedios and her two graduate students, Maria Garay and A. Chyei Vinluan, who guided me through various projects.

One of my main goals for the summer was to dive deeper into social psychology literature. I was able to do this by completing two literature reviews which exposed me to various topics and methods. From the first literature review, I learned about gender stereotype threat, group decision-making, spatial tasks and the intersections of these topics. Meanwhile, the second literature review revealed that many journal articles about multiracial experiences use stimuli that are part white (e.g. photographs of Black/White faces versus Black/Asian faces). Both of these literature reviews gave me further insight into the wide range of topics covered by social psychology, as well as the gaps in the current literature.

This opportunity also taught me the importance of being organized and detail-oriented within a lab space. More specifically, how crucial it is to document everything in a research project, such that any person can follow each step. One of my main responsibilities was to prepare the data of a completed study for data analysis. Because I was not part of the data collection process, I relied heavily on the documents provided. I applied this lesson to my own work by providing extra details on every document I completed, knowing that Dr. Remedios or other students would later use my work to finish the project.

Overall, I used my summer with the SIS Lab to further my skills as a researcher and learn about social psychology. I left Massachusetts feeling more confident in my ability to conduct psychological research and apply the lessons I learned to future projects. I would like to thank Dr. Remedios, Maria, and Chyei who took me in and allowed me to further develop my research skills and learn more about social psychology. I would also like to thank Jan Kang and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology for providing this opportunity. I am excited to return to Boston and further explore the East Coast!

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