Newsletter Article

Research-to-Action: Prejudice, Discrimination and the Law

Cheryl Kaiser is an assistant professor in the Social and Personality area of the Department of Psychology. Her work is focused on understanding prejudice and intergroup relationships, particularly from the perspective of members of socially devalued groups. One aspect of her research addresses personal and situational factors that affect whether individuals perceive prejudice-related threats toward themselves.  It also studies the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses to prejudice, and the implications of how the individuals' well being and interpersonal relationships are impacted by how they cope with prejudice. 

This research has clear and important implications for law and legal processes. Cheryl has worked to translate her research, and--more broadly--social psychological science, for legal audiences. In 2006, she assisted a lawyer in preparing an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief to the US Supreme Court in the Lilly Ledbetter vs. Goodyear Tire employment discrimination case. In 2008, she delivered a plenary session talk on psychological aspects of courtroom bias at the Washington State Bar Association's Third Annual Statewide Diversity Conference. Currently, Cheryl is retained as an expert witness in an employment discrimination case.

Cheryl has been interviewed by a number of media outlets including the New Scientist, Psychology Today, The Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's Defenders Online, and KOMO News Radio.  Her work has received media attention for its relevance to understanding prejudice and discrimination, in particular as it related to the election of our first African American president, Barack Obama