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Sofia Tenney

Program: Bachelor of Arts in Social Science
Hometown: Juneau, Alaska
Faculty Mentor: Amanda Sesko

Sofia graduated December 2013, but is currently taking courses to strengthen her quantitative analysis skills for graduate school. She is also currently working in Dr. Sesko’s lab as a research assistant.

Sofia’s research project: “The glass cliff revisited: Why stereotype endorsement predicts leadership selection”

This research focuses on a unique form of discrimination termed the glass cliff, the process by which women are preferentially selected for leadership positions during times of crisis, while their male counterparts are more likely to achieve those positions during times of success. The study was designed to fill a gap in existing research by investigating whether these well-established findings are moderated by race and the endorsement of common stereotype content domains of warmth and competence. Ultimately, the purpose of this research is to contribute to our current understanding of workplace inequality by offering an explanation as to the conditions under white women, black men, and black women are systematically underrepresented in organizational leadership positions.

Depending on the outcome of the data, a discussion of the findings will be submitted in the form of a research article to a social psychology journal, with the end goal of publication and possible presentation at the 2014 Annual Society for Personality and Social Psychology Conferences.

Research in Psychology at UAS

Dr. Sesko has a social psychological research lab that allows for students to gain research experience and knowledge in two ways:

  1. Students have the opportunity to be participants in social psychological experiments conducted here at UAS. Students can sign up to participate via the Research Participation System.
  2. Every semester 4-7 students work as research assistants for course credit.  As research assistants, students are directly involved in helping Dr. Sesko to design studies, construct materials, run participants through the studies, enter data, and in some cases aid in data analysis. Research assistants also gain knowledge in how to program studies using various computer programs used in human subjects’ research.