I have broad interests in stereotyping and discrimination, which generally fall into two lines of research: 1) social identities and self-evaluations, and 2) experiences and perceptions of discrimination and prejudice.
As a social psychologist, I am interested in the way in which individuals experience their social group memberships and manage these social identities, especially as it pertains to well-being and positive self-esteem. For many people, race and gender represent important social identities that influence individuals’ behavior and responses to their social environment. My research has shown that multiracial persons’ self-categorization as a member of a particular racial group is partly based on perceived similarity to that group (Good, Chavez, & Sanchez, 2010). Moreover, affective processes such as a feeling of connectedness to the racial community may drive perceived similarity more so than observable physical characteristics such as skin color. For part-White multiracial populations, self-categorization into the minority group is particularly important, as it predicts whether individuals see themselves as eligible for affirmative action (Good et al., 2010), and whether others view them as eligible (Good, Sanchez, & Chavez, in press; Sanchez, Good, & Chavez, 2011). My research has also shown that gender conformity can be positive or negative for the self, depending on the motivation for that behavior (Good & Sanchez, 2010). Thus it is important to consider the motivation for behavior when examining the consequences of gender conformity for men and women.
Discrimination & Prejudice
My second line of research focuses on uncovering the ways in which discrimination is experienced as well as how observations of discrimination can affect perceiver evaluations of victims. My research shows that this gender bias in science textbook photos can impair high school girls’ performance on a science comprehension test. Including an equal number of photographs featuring male and female scientists in the lesson removed this barrier, allowing girls to perform at the same level as boys in the classes (Good, Woodzicka, & Wingfield, 2010). When women are aware of gender discrimination, we might expect them to stand up for themselves and confront the sexist person or situation. My research has shown that both situational factors and gender identification may play a role in confrontation (Good, Moss-Racusin, & Sanchez, 2012). Discrimination is not only experienced, also frequently observed; my work has investigated workplace observations of benevolent sexism. In my research, participants who liked a hostile or benevolent sexist male interviewer rated a female applicant as less competent, and indicated less desire to hire her (Good & Rudman, 2010). Importantly, participants did not have to express sexist attitudes themselves in order to rate the benevolent sexist interviewer positively.