In this line of research, I examine how a target's characteristics influence the expression of bias. Specifically, I am interested in how multiple intersecting social identities modify susceptibility to bias and discriminatory treatment. I test these questions using intersectional invisibility theory (Purdie-Vaughns & Eibach, 2008). This theory posits that we have cultural defaults that align with group status when we thinking of social categories. Thus, the default person is likely White, male, and heterosexual.
I extend this theory to examine the prototypes at the intersection of race and (a) sexual orientation (Lei, Mohr, Rucker, & Richeson, in prep) and (b) socioeconomic status (SES) (Lei & Bodenhausen, 2017). Furthermore, I investigate what the implications of viewing prototypical vs. non-prototypical exemplars are for policy outcomes. I also examine these associations between social categories on a group-level (Lei, Petsko, Rucker, & Richeson, in prep).
From the target's perspective, I investigate the implications of being prototypical or non-prototypical for people's identification with the overall social group and consequently for collective action intentions (Lei & Richeson, in prep).
All together, these research projects are aimed at understanding the complexity of social identification and the implications of this complexity in an increasingly diverse society.