Elysia Vaccarino

My name is Elysia Vaccarino, I am currently a doctoral student in the Social-Personality Psychology Department at York University in Toronto, Canada. I am studying under the supervision of Dr. Kerry Kawakami in the Social Cognition Lab. I am interested in a range of topics, including processes of social categorization, person perception as it relates to intergroup dynamics, as well as underlying motivations of, and strategies to reduce, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination.

In June 2013, I completed my Honours B.Sc. with High Distinction at the University of Toronto, specializing in psychology.

Research

I am interested in investigating intergroup dynamics, the cues used during processes of social categorization, and their resulting implications, especially those relating to topics of prejudice and stereotyping.

I seek to explore topics of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination through a person perception lens. The concept that we may be unintentionally sending lasting and influential impressions to others is noteworthy, and the implications of this phenomenon in fields of prejudice are likely consequential. My research interests thus lie primarily in investigating the socio-cognitive mechanisms of intergroup relations as well as determining potential strategies to reduce associated deleterious biases.

Currently, I am studying the impact of “colour-blind” strategies on intergroup contexts. Although, today, strong societal norms often equate the refrainment of mentioning race in intergroup contexts with a display of egalitarianism, research in our lab has demonstrated that such strategies can have paradoxical implications and can subsequently lead to increased bias. I am currently exploring the dynamics of these colour-blind strategies from a perspective of competing motivations and goal conflict. I am also investigating strategies to minimize these negative outcomes, specifically by determining whether going against such social norms could eradicate the false sense of fulfilled egalitarianism provided by colour-blind norms and subsequently result in less prejudice.

Curriculum Vitae

Education

Ph.D. Psychology (2016-Present)
York University, Toronto, Canada

M.A. Psychology (2014-2016)
York University, Toronto, Canada

B.Sc. Honours with High Distinction, Psychology Specialist (2009-2013)
University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Achievements and Awards

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2017-2018)
York University

Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (2015-2016)
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Graduate Entrance Scholarship (2014-2015)
York University

Muriel McCuaig Memorial Scholarship in French (2012-2013)
University of Toronto

Dean’s Honour List (2010-2013)
University of Toronto

The Regents In-Course Scholarship (2010-2012)
Victoria College, University of Toronto

Publications

Kawakami, K., Karmali, F., Friesen, J., Phills, C., Williams, A., Vaccarino, E, & Dovidio, J. (in preparation). I don’t see race: Exploring the boundaries and implications of strategic colorblindness.

Vaccarino, F.J., Vaccarino, E., & Vaccarino, O. (In Press) A Call to Action In: Improving Quality of Life: Substance Use and Aging. Substance Use in Canada (SUIC) report prepared by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA). being prepared by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA).

Presentations and Posters

Vaccarino, E. (April 2017). Shifting Perceptions of Prejudice: A Normative Approach. Talk to be presented at the York University Social-Personality Brown Bag Presentations, Toronto, ON.

Vaccarino, E. (January 2017). The impact of defying colorblind norms on explicit prejudice. Poster to be presented at the meeting for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Antonio, TX.

Vaccarino, E., Kawakami, K., & Karmali, F. (January 2016). Limits and consequences of colorblind strategies. Poster presented at the meeting for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Diego, CA.

Vaccarino, E. (December, 2015). Racial labels: Uses and consequences. Talk presented at the York University Social-Personality Brown Bag Presentations, Toronto, ON.

Kawakami, K., Karmali, F., Friesen, J., Phills, A., Williams, A., Vaccarino, E., & Dovidio, J.F. (2015). I don’t see race: Exploring the boundaries and implications of strategic colorblindness. Invited address Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Duke University, Durham, NC.

Vaccarino, E. (April, 2015). The paradox of colour-blind strategies. Talk presented at the York University Social-Personality Brown Bag Presentations, Toronto, ON.

Karmali, F., Kawakami, K., Friesen, J., Phills, C., Williams, A., & Vaccarino, E. (February, 2015). A free pass for prejudice: The effects of avoiding racial terms on subsequent prejudice. Poster presented at the meeting for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Long Beach, CA.

Contact

  • office
    321 Behaviour Science Building
    York University
    4700 Keele St.
    Toronto, ON M3J 1P3