Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Group Identity and Social Perception Lab



Congratulations to Hyun Joon for successfully defending his comprehensive exam!

The GISP lab is hiring a full-time research assistant/lab manager to begin this summer. This is a great opportunity for someone interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in social psychology. Click for more information or to apply. Feel free to reach out with any questions!

Congratulations to our graduating undergraduate research assistants: Wei Liu, Juliana Ruta, and Roxy Zhang! We wish you all the best of luck in your future careers!

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all GISP lab members and affiliates are currently working from home. We are unable to answer the lab phone at the moment, but we are still conducting research and can be reached by email. Please stay safe!

Jonathan and former GISP-lab member Mikey Pasek are authors on a new article in Nature Human Behavior that examines effects of intergroup contact on members of socially advantaged and disadvantaged groups in 69 countries.

Jonathan and former GISP-lab member, Lauren Spencer, co-authored an article in the International Journal of MS Care showing that chronic illness stigma decreases across the lifespan.

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Louisa’s research on how doctoral students’ experience of gender-based stereotype threat, negative affect, and belonging will be exhibited in a poster presentation at the APS Virtual Poster Showcase, online from June 1 to September 1, 2020.

Peter’s research on how affirmation and belonging interventions affect doctoral students’ feelings of belonging in graduate school will be exhibited in a poster presentation at the APS Virtual Poster Showcase, online from June 1 to September 1, 2020.

Former GISP Lab member, Elissa Liguori’s research on the role of mindfulness and student-adviser meetings in doctoral students’ stress levels will be exhibited in a poster presentation at the APS Virtual Poster Showcase, online from June 1 to September 1, 2020.

Hyun Joon presented a poster on the effect of psychological interventions on Ph.D. students’ cortisol levels at #SPSP2020 in New Orleans, LA.

Jason presented a poster on the impact of affirmation interventions on undergraduate students’ daily stress at #SPSP2020 in New Orleans, LA.

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Contact Us

T 814.867.4839

Group Identity and
Social Perception Lab

525 Moore Building
Department of Psychology
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802


In a new paper in PSPB led by GISP alumnus, Hyun Joon Park, we assessed undergraduate students' cortisol levels at the beginning and end of four classes around the first exam in a gateway STEM course. Because students reported the class to be stressful, we thought that their cortisol levels might increase in each class and as the exam approached. Instead, cortisol levels declined within classes and across classes. We also thought higher cortisol responses might predict worse performance. Instead, they predicted better performance and a greater likelihood of taking the next course in the sequence - but only for members of underrepresented racial/ethnic minority groups.

Congrats to Dr. Samantha Stevens, who on May 8, 2023 successfully defended her dissertation, A Longitudinal Inquiry into Ph.D. Student Experiences and How Social-Psychological Interventions Differentially Predict Performance and Psychological Outcomes!

GISP lab manager, Michael Ruiz, is a co-author on an article published in PNAS showing that discipline incidents escalate during the school year among middle school students, with the rate increasing more quickly for Black students, especially in schools that have a high degree of racial disparity early in the year.

Congrats to Kevin Wang, who graduated in May 2023 after having successfully completed an honor's thesis with Jonathan, entitled, Belongingness in Graduate School: The Effect of Belonging on the Relationship Between Advisor Trust and Burnout!

The GISP Lab welcomes Michael Ruiz, who joins us as our new lab manager!


As part of the 2023 APS Annual Convention, Jonathan will be a discussant at the symposium, Fostering Equity, Executive Functions, and Math Conceptual Understanding: A Multi-Year Intervention with Black and Latinx Middle School Students, on Friday, May 26th from 10:30–11:50 AM at the Washington Hilton.

Jonathan gave the keynote address at the Spring 2023 Psychology Department Conference at Connecticut College, speaking on Identifying Psychological Risks to Promote Student Success in Higher Education.

Jonathan presented on January 21st on Inclusion in STEM as part of the American Physical Society’s Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (APS CUWiP) at Penn State!

Thanks to all who attended the Psychology Department's virtual info night on 10/12 and joining Jonathan, Samantha, and Nathaniel Schermerhorn who led a discussion about career paths and applying to getting a Ph.D. in social psychology.

Peter gave the talk, Belonging Intervention Mitigates Daily Psychological Threats Among Female PhD Students, at #SPSP2022 as part of a symposium organized by Jonathan and Peter on the social psychology of doctoral education.