Seeing is Believing and Beneficial for Social Change: Multicultural Visibility Promotes Recognition and Reduction of Inequality

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm

The Jacob Marschak Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Mathematics in the Behavioral Sciences at UCLA

Speaker: Tiffany N. Brannon, Assistant Professor of Psychology, UCLA

Faculty host: Van Savage, Professor of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Biomathematics, UCLA

Across survey and experimental studies, multicultural efforts that make social groups visible— allowing their history, hardships, customs, beliefs, and sources of pride to be seen—are shown to afford intra-and intergroup benefits that can reduce social inequalities. First, studies using social groups tied to race/ethnicity find that the perceived visibility of diversity is associated with greater whole self inclusion and, in turn institutional belonging among historically underrepresented (Latino/a/x and African Americans) and dominant/non-underrepresented (Asian and White Americans) groups. Multicultural efforts that make racial/ethnic groups more visible are also shown to promote more positive intergroup attitudes. Then, studies using social groups tied to traumatic experiences (i.e., sexual assault) find that visibility in the form of practices and individuals who report having the experience is associated with institutional belonging, better well-being, and across intergroup lines more openness to prevention training and less victim blaming. The discussion examines the power of social identities when shown in their full complexity—in ways that make visible the history, hardships, and sources of pride— to foster greater understandings of inequality, reduce intergroup conflict and to ultimately, motivate social change across social group lines.

Brannon received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Social Psychology from Stanford University and her B.A. in Psychology from Florida International University. Her research integrates basic psychological theories related to the self, multicultural experiences, and consistency theories to understand the conditions that allow culturally shaped identities associated with negatively stereotyped groups to function as powerful agents of social change.

Light refreshments will be served. Reservations are requested to