Sophie Trawalter

Sophie Trawalter

Associate Professor of Public Policy and Psychology
Education & Training
Ph.D. in Psychological & Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College
M.A. in Psychological & Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College
B.A. in Psychology, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
B.S. in Mathematics, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

I’m an Associate Professor of Public Policy and Psychology. I study phenomena related to social diversity. Specifically, I examine how people navigate intergroup contact and intergroup contexts. I am especially interested in how people develop competencies and learn to thrive in diverse spaces.

In one line of research, I investigate stress and coping responses to interracial contact. Within this line of research, I examine people’s short-term behavioral and physiological responses to interracial contact as well as longer-term, health-relevant physiological changes in response to diversity experiences. Other lines of research explore people’s ability to detect discrimination accurately and the social ecology of privilege. Ultimately, the aim of this work is to develop constructive strategies to cope with the challenges of diversity in organizations, public arenas, and private spaces. In time, such strategies may reduce intergroup tensions and improve outcomes for both traditionally stigmatized and non-stigmatized group members.