All Publications

  • Children acknowledge physical constraints less when actors behave stereotypically: Gender stereotypes as a case study. Child development Amemiya, J., Mortenson, E., Ahn, S., Walker, C. M., Heyman, G. D. 2021


    A fundamental part of understanding structural inequality is recognizing that constrained choices, particularly those that align with societal stereotypes, are poor indicators of a person's desires. This study examined whether children (N=246 U.S. children, 53% female; 61% White, 24% Latinx; 5-10years) acknowledge constraints in this way when reasoning about gender-stereotypical choices, relative to gender-neutral and gender-counterstereotypical choices. Results indicated that children more frequently inferred preferences regardless of whether the actor was constrained when reasoning about gender-stereotypical choices, as compared to gender-neutral or gender-counterstereotypical choices. We also found evidence of an age-related increase in the general tendency to acknowledge constraints. We discuss the broader implications of these results for children's understanding of constraints within society.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/cdev.13643

    View details for PubMedID 34411288

  • Minor Infractions Are Not Minor: School Infractions for Minor Misconduct May Increase Adolescents' Defiant Behavior and Contribute to Racial Disparities in School Discipline AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST Amemiya, J., Mortenson, E., Wang, M. 2020; 75 (1): 23–36


    Although minor misconduct is normative in adolescence, such behavior may be met with punishment in American schools. As part of a punitive disciplinary approach, teachers may give adolescents official infractions for minor misconduct-that is, a minor infraction-presumably to deter future problem behavior. This article investigates three arguments that challenge the wisdom of this assumption and considers the potentially detrimental effects of minor infractions: (a) minor infractions increase, rather than deter, adolescents' defiant behavior; (b) these effects are exacerbated among adolescents who are highly attached to school; and (c) teachers' punishment of minor misconduct may be racially biased, resulting in African American students receiving more minor infractions than White students. To test these hypotheses, 729 adolescents' school disciplinary records were analyzed over 1 academic year. Longitudinal multilevel analyses were conducted to assess (a) if receiving minor infractions predicted later increases in infractions for defiant behavior at the within-student level, (b) whether adolescents' attachment to school moderated this association, and (c) if a disparity existed between African American and White students' average level of minor infractions. Results indicated that minor infractions predicted subsequent rises in defiant behavior, and this link was exacerbated for adolescents who reported initially high levels, but not low levels, of school attachment. Furthermore, African American students received more minor infractions than White students, controlling for a host of risk factors for school misconduct. Findings are discussed in relation to American school discipline policies and African Americans' persistent overrepresentation in school discipline and the criminal justice system. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/amp0000475

    View details for Web of Science ID 000506339300002

    View details for PubMedID 31081648

  • Racial Inequality in Psychological Research: Trends of the Past and Recommendations for the Future. Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science Roberts, S. O., Bareket-Shavit, C. n., Dollins, F. A., Goldie, P. D., Mortenson, E. n. 2020: 1745691620927709


    Race plays an important role in how people think, develop, and behave. In the current article, we queried more than 26,000 empirical articles published between 1974 and 2018 in top-tier cognitive, developmental, and social psychology journals to document how often psychological research acknowledges this reality and to examine whether people who edit, write, and participate in the research are systematically connected. We note several findings. First, across the past five decades, psychological publications that highlight race have been rare, and although they have increased in developmental and social psychology, they have remained virtually nonexistent in cognitive psychology. Second, most publications have been edited by White editors, under which there have been significantly fewer publications that highlight race. Third, many of the publications that highlight race have been written by White authors who employed significantly fewer participants of color. In many cases, we document variation as a function of area and decade. We argue that systemic inequality exists within psychological research and that systemic changes are needed to ensure that psychological research benefits from diversity in editing, writing, and participation. To this end, and in the spirit of the field's recent emphasis on metascience, we offer recommendations for journals and authors.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/1745691620927709

    View details for PubMedID 32578504