Sapna Cheryan, Ph.D.
Interests: Stereotypes, Identity, Diversity, Belonging, Group Status
|Do I accept and train new psychology graduate students in general?|
|Am I accepting new graduate students in the upcoming year?|
|I am accepting graduate students in 2020-2021|
|Social and Personality|
My research investigates how cultural stereotypes cause and perpetuate racial and gender disparities in U.S. society. In one line of work, our lab examines whether current stereotypes of computer scientists preclude women’s interest in the field and how to change these stereotypes to promote a diversity of membership. Our second line of work investigates the health consequences of having an important identity go unrecognized by fellow group members. Our third line of work investigates the negative consequences of positive stereotypes. Together, our work demonstrates that stereotypes – even those that are not overtly negative – contribute to current inequalities and tensions between groups and further suggests how to alter these stereotypes to create a society that is more inclusive and equitable.
- Cheryan, S., Plaut, V.C., Davies, P., & Steele, C.M. (2009). Ambient belonging: How stereotypical environments impact gender participation in computer science. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 1045-1060.
- Guendelman, M., Cheryan, S., & Monin, B. (2011). Fitting in but getting fat: Identity threat as an explanation for dietary decline among U.S. immigrant groups. Psychological Science, 22, 959-967.
- Siy, J. O., & Cheryan, S. (2013). When compliments fail to flatter: American individualism and responses to positive stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104, 87-102.
- Zou, L. X., & Cheryan, S. (2017). Two axes of subordination: A new model of racial position. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 112, 696-717.
In the News
- 10/01/2019 This UW Daily article features Sapna Cheryan: UW researcher Sapna Cheryan breaks down the stereotype of male-dominated tech and how to change it for the better
- 08/22/2019 Congratulations to Sapna Cheryan, who has received another award from the National Science Foundation, her second this year.
- 07/02/2019 Sapna Cheryan’s research is featured in this UW News article about how “American” LGBTQ Asian Americans seem.
- 05/15/2019 Sapna Cheryan was interviewed in Crosscut about stereotypes and diversity issues in the tech industry.
- 04/08/2019 Sapna Cheryan is quoted in this Men’s Health article about the meaning of being called “Boss”
- 02/05/2019 Sapna Cheryan is cited in this article in The Conversation on the gender gap in science prizes
- 07/23/2018 Sapna Cheryan battles STEM stereotypes as a member of Mattel’s Barbie Global Advisory Council
- 06/28/2018 Congratulations to Sapna Cheryan, who was just elected as a fellow for the Association for Psychological Science!
- 06/27/2018 Sapna Cheryan responds to essay by UW lecturer “Why Women Don’t Code” in this Seattle Times article.
- 05/31/2018 Sapna Cheryan and Andy Meltzoff’s videos are among those featured in this UW News article highlighting the six projects that came from the University of Washington.
- 03/30/2018 Sapna Cheryan is quoted in this Mashable article on why there are gender gaps in science.
- 02/28/2018 Sapna Cheryan study cited in Indiana Student Daily article about mentors closing the STEM gender gap
- 01/24/2018 Sapna Cheryan was quoted in this CityLab article about the effects poor building facilities on the education of students.
- 12/14/2017 Sapna Cheryan students Linda Zou and Alya Azman honored with grants and scholarships.
- 10/29/2017 Sapna Cheryan, Allison Master, and Andy Meltzoff publish an op-ed in the LA Times on how toys can be used to decrease the gender gap in STEM fields. The piece includes a story about Cheryl Kaiser’s daughter!
- 08/29/2017 Sapna Cheryan was featured as Source of the Week on NPR.
- 08/28/2017 Sapna Cheryan was quoted in a Digital Journal Op-Ed about women’s underrepresentation in stem fields.
- 07/31/2017 A study conducted by Sapna Cheryan and collaborators finds that heavier Asian Americans are seen as "more American."
- 06/07/2017 Sapna Cheryan discusses the potential impact of media and role models on women interested in science, technology, engineering and math in Crosscut article.
- 05/10/2017 Andy Meltzoff, Sapna Cheryan and Allison Master’s study on early exposure to robot programming as a tool to combat gender stereotypes in tech has been extensively covered in the news lately.
- 02/01/2017 Sapna Cheryan is quoted in The Atlantic about gender stereotypes affecting children’s perceptions of their intelligence.
- 09/14/2016 UW Today recently wrote about a study co-authored by Andy Meltzoff and Sapna Cheryan.
- 09/14/2016 Sapna Cheryan is spending the 2016-2017 year as a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.
- 10/13/2015 Sapna Cheryan's research on gender diversity in technology covered in The New York Times
- 07/01/2015 UW Today recently published an interesting article about Sapna Cheryan’s research on men overcompensating when their masculinity is threatened.
- 04/20/2015 Want to know how to create an environment where students can learn? Ask Sapna Cheryan.
- 04/06/2015 Are stereotypes of who goes into computer science and engineering keeping women out of the field?
- 04/02/2015 Think you know what an engineer or computer scientist look like? Our stereotypes are limiting the field.
- 01/21/2015 There’s more to the classroom experience than the curriculum. Sapna Cheryan’s work highlights other factors in classroom design and layout that influence how we learn.
- 11/12/2014 ABC is not as easy as 123 if the classroom isn’t set up correctly. At least that’s what Sapna Cheryan and colleagues have found -
- 11/05/2014 Sapna Cheryan and Andy Meltzoff make the news about classroom design – turns out where you are can impact how you learn -
- 11/05/2014 Turns out computer sciences aren’t a friendly environment for women. Sapna Cheryan tells us why -
- 10/15/2014 Sapna Cheryan and two of her students – Lauren Hudson and Amanda Tose – present at Microsoft about women’s underrepresentation in Computer Science. (from December of 2010, but recently posted) -
- 09/16/2014 Sapna Cheryan’s work is cited in this article:
- 07/16/2014 Sapna Cheryan is in the news:
- 06/04/2014 Marcie Sillman speaks with University of Washington professor Sapna Cheryan about how the nerd stereotype is keeping women away from the field of computer science.
- 08/28/2013 Sapna Cheryan’s research on stereotypes was featured in Columns, UW’s Alumni Magazine and UW Today.
- 06/19/2013 Congratulations to Amanda Kay Montoya as the other co-winner of the 2013 Guthrie Prize in Psychology.
- 04/03/2013 Caitlin Handron, who graduated from UW last year and is currently Sapna Cheryan's lab manager, received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
- 09/12/2012 Sapna Cheryan was awarded a Visiting Scholar position at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City.
- 05/14/2012 Caitlin Handron received a Psi Chi Regional Research Award for her poster at the Western Psychological Association Convention last month.
- 05/14/2012 Wenwen Ni, Oliver Siy, and Sapna Cheryan authored an op-ed in Psychology Today on Jeremy Lin and the dark side of positive stereotypes.
- 05/09/2011 Sapna Cheryan’s research on members of U.S. immigrant groups choosing typical American dishes as a way to show that they belong and to prove their American-ness has received considerable media coverage.
- 05/18/2010 Sapna Cheryan is one of six faculty and postdoctoral mentors who will be honored this year with an Undergraduate Research Mentor Award.
- 04/07/2010 Sapna Cheryan was a guest on King 5's show, New Day Northwest, to discuss the benefits of sports for girls. "A new study proves that girls who play sports are more successful,"
- 01/19/2010 Sapna Cheryan's work on the differential between male and female students majoring in computer science was featured on the front page of January 12th issue of The Daily. "I don't feel geeky,"
- 04/27/2009 Sapna Cheryan received a NSF CAREER award, the National Science Foundation's most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.