The Social Cognition of Social Justice Laboratory

Purdue University

Department of Psychological Sciences

703 Third Street

West Lafayette, IN 47907

(765) 494-4833


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Dr. Erin Hennes is an Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. She is also an Assistant Professor (by courtesy) of Political Science and a faculty affiliate of the Purdue Center for the Environment and the Purdue Climate Change Research Center. Dr. Hennes holds a BA in Music, Psychology, and Liberal Arts and Management from Indiana University. She completed her PhD in Social Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Methods at New York University, where she was funded by a National Science Foundation Dissertation Grant and was a finalist for the Society of Experimental Social Psychology Dissertation Award. Following graduation, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles and a Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


Dr. Erin Hennes

Principal Investigator

Layla Dang graduated from St. Olaf College in May 2018, where she earned a BA in Psychology with concentrations in Women's & Gender Studies and Management Studies. There, she served as a Research Assistant to Dr. Jessica Petok, examining factors predicting age differences in cognitive sequence learning. She was subsequently the Lab Manager of the Social Cognition of Social Justice lab from 2018 to 2019, before beginning graduate work as a PhD student in the lab in Fall 2019. Broadly, her current research interests include individual, group, and system-level factors that produce, perpetuate, and exacerbate social disparities. She is also interested in examining the social psychological factors that aid in narrowing these disparities. She is passionate about exploring translational applications of her work in real-world contexts. 



Layla Dang

Graduate Student

Taeik Kim

Graduate Student

Taeik Kim joined the Social Cognition of Social Justice Lab as a Ph.D. student in Fall 2019. He completed his BA in Psychology at Yeungnam University in South Korea and completed his Master’s degree in Cultural and Social Psychology at Korea University. His research interests primarily focus on social inequality (e.g., economic and gender inequality) and its impact on the human mind and behavior. He is currently building a theoretical framework to understand social inequality through the lens of intertemporal decision-making. He is also interested in motivational and cognitive processes associated with people’s views on environmental issues and their subsequent behaviors. In his spare time, he writes piano music and enjoys playing the piano.




Mairéad Willis

Project Coordinator

Mairéad Willis graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2018 with a BA in Neuroscience and Behavior and a minor in Irish Language and Literature. She spent the 2018-2019 school year pursuing an MA in Creative Writing at University College Cork, which she expects to be awarded in February 2020. While at Notre Dame, she spent two years as a research assistant in the Cognition, Emotion, and Emotional Disorders Lab under Dr. Lira Yoon. She participated in laboratory research investigating the effect of induced stress on cognitive performance. Mairéad's research interests include the prevention of mood disorders in adolescent populations, development of novel treatments for mood disorders, and best practices for experimental design and data analysis. She is delighted to join the SuperPower Project as Project Coordinator. 


Leslie Remache

Lab Manager

Leslie Remache graduated from Arcadia University in May 2019, where she earned a BA in Psychology with a minor in Global Public Health. She has worked closely with Dr. Steven Robbins on a senior research thesis that focused on the effects of stereotype threat and the race of an evaluator on Latinx non-native English speakers’ ability to inhibit automatic responses and self-perceptions about their speech. There, she was also a Research Assistant to Dr. Christina Brown and worked on projects regarding motivation, morality, the true self, and cross-cultural studies. Leslie’s research interests primarily encompass the intersection between class and race, intergroup relations, and workplace discrimination. 



Research-Focused Honors Program Scholar

Katie Mason research interests broadly lie within the psychology of social justice. She is both interested in research that studies why people are resistant to positive social change, instead of defending flawed existing systems and the study of stereotyping and prejudice on the basis of racial and gender identity. Additionally, she is interested in how scientists, politicians, the media, and schools can better encourage change that promotes equality.



Research Assistants

Jasna Hardin. Graduated from Purdue University with a PharmD in 2016. Since, she has been working as a licensed pharmacist in New York City. She has joined the Social Cognition of Social Justice Lab in hopes of pursuing a future career in Social Psychology. Her upcoming plans include obtaining a Master's degree to then pursue a PhD. 


Taewon Kang is majoring in Psychology and joined the Social Cognition of Social Justice Lab in 2019. He is interested in the intersection between social psychology and human rights issues. Upon graduation, Taewon is interested in pursuing a PhD in Social Psychology and ultimately working for international human rights-focused organizations.



Jonathan Ishoy is a licensed clinical mental health counselor. He earned his Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Westminster College, where he completed his thesis on ethical decision making in professional counseling. He has worked as a staff therapist and adjunct professor at Utah Valley University, teaching courses in Thanatology and Lifespan Development. Jonathan is interested in theoretical and philosophical perspectives between social and counseling psychology. 


Donny Snyder is majoring in Psychology, with a double minor in Political Science and Peace Studies. He joined the Social Cognition of Social Justice Lab in 2019. Donny is interested in topics such as political persuasion, opinion formation, bias, and how psychological processes interact with a person’s perspectives on government and society. Post-graduation, Donny is interested in pursuing a PhD in Social-Political Psychology and continuing further research into these fields as a career.


Stefanie Walsh is pursuing a double major in Political Science and Psychology. She has been a member of the Social Cognition of Social Justice Lab since 2017 and the SuperPower team since 2018. She is particularly interested in ethical issues surrounding big data. Upon graduating, Stefanie hopes to pursue an advanced degree in data analytics.


Affiliated Postdoctoral Scholars

Ya-Hsin Hung, PhD (pronounced Ya-Sin) is a postdoctoral assistant on the SuperPower team primarily supervised by Dr. Robert Proctor, Dr. Erin Hennes, and Dr. Sean Lane. She completed her PhD at Purdue in Industrial Engineering (Human Factors track) in 2019, primarily working with Dr. Steven Landry and Paul Parsons. Her research focuses on assessing emotional engagement with data visualizations, and user experience (UX) evaluation techniques in general. She has been collaborating with the SuperPower team since 2017, where she is working on SuperPower interface design and usability testing.



Affiliated Graduate Students

Janel Jett is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at Purdue University. Her major field is American politics and her main research interests are political communication, political psychology, and public opinion. More specifically, her research focuses on understanding how nontraditional media sources serve as sources of political information and how those sources shape policy attitudes. She has been collaborating with the Social Cognition of Social Justice Lab since 2018, where she examines the impact of progressive vs. restorative policy frames on attitudes regarding anthropogenic climate change in the United States and France. She is the recipient of a Chateaubriand Fellowship to conduct this research in Paris, France for the Spring 2020 semester.





Mao Mogami is a PhD student in Social Psychology at New York University, primarily working with Dr. John Jost. She is interested in investigating interventions to overcome system justification. She has been collaborating with the Social Cognition of Social Justice Lab since 2017, where she examines how psychological distance may reduce people's defensiveness of the system by inducing an abstract mindset.​



Xiaofang (Viola) Zheng is a PhD student in the Mathematical and Computational Psychology program, primarily working with Dr. Richard Schweickert on Multinomial Processing Tree models, social networks, and dream content analysis. She has been collaborating with the Social Cognition of Social Justice Lab since 2017, where she examines the relationship between religion and prosocial behavior using both experimental and big data approaches.


Lab Alumni

Adam Hampton (MS) was a Master's student in the SCSJ lab from 2016 to 2019. He is now a Student Success Coach at Washburn University.

Mysha Clarke (PhD) was a graduate affiliate of the SCSJ lab from 2016 to 2018. She completed a PhD in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources and is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at Villanova University.


Brittany Mihalec-Adkins was a research assistant and graduate affiliate of the SCSJ lab from 2015 to 2017. She is now enrolled in the PhD program in Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University.


Ezgi Ozgumus was the lab manager of the SCSJ lab from 2017 to 2018. She is now enrolled in the PhD program in Organisational Behaviour at London Business School.

Emily Boyne was a research assistant in the SCSJ lab from 2015 to 2016. She is now enrolled in the EdS program in School Psychology at the Ohio State University.

Thomas Hamori was a research assistant in the SCSJ lab in 2017. He is now enrolled in the MS program in Mathematics at the University of South Carolina.

Celine Jusuf was a research assistant in the SCSJ lab from 2018 to 2019. She is now enrolled in the MA program in Psychology at San Diego State University.

Zehan (Leo) Li (MHS) was a research assistant in the SCSJ lab from 2017 to 2018. He is now enrolled in the MS program in Health Sciences Informatics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.


Colby Light was a research assistant in the SCSJ lab in 2017. He is now enrolled in the MSc program in Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy program at WU Vienna (Austria).


Xiyao Ge was a summer intern in the SCSJ lab visiting from Reed College in 2017. He is now enrolled in the MS program in applied statistics and psychometrics at Boston College.