University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Sylvia Perry

Social Psychology

Sylvia Perry

Sylvia Perry

Assistant Professor

  • B.A. University of North Texas, 2002
  • M.A. University of Illinois at Chicago, 2006
  • Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago, 2010
  • C.V. (PDF)

Phone: 656-1341

Room: 338

Office Hours: Wednesday 3:00 - 5:00

Website: Social Cognition and Intergroup Processes (SCIP) Laboratory


Broadly speaking, her research investigates how individual difference factors interact with situational factors to affect intergroup contexts, educational and healthcare settings, and people's sense of belonging and psychological well-being. She uses multiple methods (including lab and online experiments, and longitudinal studies) and measures (including implicit and explicit) to identify the basic cognitive, motivational, and perceptual processes that explain the links between individual difference factors, situational factors, and behavior.

With her current work, she is investigating (a) the mechanisms that attenuate and exacerbate individuals’ sense of academic fit and well-being, and (b) whether there are individual differences in peoples' awareness of their tendencies to display subtle bias against outgroup members (or bias awareness). Specifically, she is investigating how bias awareness develops, and the implications of bias awareness for prejudice reduction, intergroup contact, and health disparities.

Representative Publications

  • Perry, S. P., Hardeman, R., Burke, S., Cunningham, B., Burgess, D. J., & van Ryn, M. (in press). The impact of everyday discrimination and racial identity centrality on African American medical student well-being: A report from the medical student CHANGE study. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.
  • Perry, S. P., Murphy, M. C., & Dovidio, J. F. (2015). Modern Prejudice: Subtle, but unconscious? The role of bias awareness in Whites’ perceptions of personal and others’ biases. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 61, 64-78.
  • Van Ryn, M., Hardeman, R., Phelan, S., Burgess, D. J., Dovidio, J. F., Herrin, J., Burke, S., Nelson, D., Perry, S. P., Yeazel, M., Przedworski, J. (2015). Medical school factors associated with change in implicit racial bias between 1st and 4th year among 3547 medical students: A report from the Medical Student CHANGES Study. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 1-9.
  • Perry, S. P., Dovidio, J. F., Murphy, M. C., & van Ryn, M. (2015). The joint effect of bias awareness and self-reported prejudice on intergroup anxiety and intentions for intergroup contact. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 21, 89-96.
  • Dovidio, J. F., Gaertner, S. L., Wright, E., & Perry, S. P. (2013). Social conflict, harmony, and integration.  In I. B. Weiner, H. A. Tennen, & J. Suls (Eds.), Handbook of psychology, Vol. 5: Personality and social psychology (2nd ed.).  New York: Wiley.
  • Van Ryn, M., Burgess, D. J., Dovidio, J. F., Phelan, S. M., Malat, J., Griffin, J. M., Fu, S. S., Saha, S., & Perry, S. P. (2011). The impact of racism on clinician cognition, behavior, and clinical decision-making. The Du Bois Review, 8, 199-218.
  • Perry, S.P., & Skitka, L. J. (2009). Making lemonade? Defensive coping style moderates the effect of stereotype threat on women's math test performance. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 918-920.
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