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About the Belief, Identity, and Intergroup Relations Lab Heading link

Welcome to the Belief, Identity, and Group Relations (BIGR) Lab in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois Chicago. Directed by Dr. Michael H. Pasek, the lab investigates the social psychological underpinnings of intergroup relations along religious, racial, political, and sexual orientation lines. We ask questions like: How do people’s beliefs and identities influence our collective ability to peacefully coexist in diverse societies? Why do some people fear diversity, and how do these fears impact our political attitudes? And what can we do to foster tolerance, reduce bias, and advance positive social change?

We use a range of methods, including cross-cultural field research, longitudinal studies, controlled experiments, and surveys, allowing us to answer these questions while at the same time expanding social psychology beyond traditionally studied populations to build ecologically valid and contextually grounded theories on intergroup relations.

We believe that social psychological theories are best developed by studying issues of relevance to the real world, and that our theories have value when applied to impact the world. As such, we aim to not only conduct theoretically sound research, but to translate this work beyond the ivory tower.

If you are interested in our work and want to get involved, we hope to hear from you!