People

Principal Investigator

Dr. Jason Deska

Dr. Jason Deska is the director of the Social Perception & Intergroup Relations lab at Ryerson University. He completed his PhD at Miami University under the supervision of Kurt Hugenberg and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto with Nick Rule.


Graduate Students

Sam Pejic is a first year Psychological Science master’s student. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Western University. Her past undergraduate research focused on the impact of social media on women’s self and beauty perceptions, as well as exercise and eating behaviour. Sam’s current research focuses on investigating how social pain judgments differ as a function of population membership (e.g., prisoner, exoneree), as well as addiction stigma research.

This could be you!

The Social Perception & Intergroup Relations lab is actively recruiting new graduate students. You can learn more about graduate training in psychology at Ryerson University here, and Dr. Deska encourages interested applicants to email him directly.


Affiliated Graduate Students

  • Leah Hamovich
  • Krischanda Bemister
  • Eden Hoffer

Research Assistants

Rachel Appiah is a recent psychology graduate interested in expanding her scientific literacy. As a post-baccalaureate research assistant, Rachel is eager to explore social categories, authenticity, and their relation to organizational dynamics.

Anamika Bose is a third-year undergraduate Biology student who is interested in exploring the fields of clinical and social psychology. In particular, she wants to investigate how the standard of healthcare is influenced by the stereotypes and biases that we form of each other. Through this lab, Anamika hopes to gain insight into ways to better reform the various systems in our society to reduce inequality.

Mahida Chaudhry is a fourth-year undergraduate Psychology student at Ryerson University, and an honour’s thesis student in the lab. She is interested in studying the influence of racial and socioeconomic biases as well other social categories on individuals lives, and how they contribute to discrimination and prejudice. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, Mahida is looking to pursue graduate studies in clinical psychology.

Melanie Parasram is a fourth-year undergraduate Psychology student. She has previously completed a BA (Honours) degree in Sociology at the University of Toronto. In this lab, she is interested in further exploring how intersectional social identities influence social biases, and how these biases are reflected in the healthcare system. After graduating, Melanie hopes to continue her studies in graduate school, specializing in counselling or clinical psychology.

Emma Robers is a 3rd year undergraduate student in the BSW program who is minoring in Family Supports and Community practice. She holds a diploma in Social Service Work from George Brown College. She is interested in social pain perceptions and how these perceptions influence or bias those who work with social service users who are visible minorities. Through this lab she hopes to better understand these perceptions in order to inform policy and decision-makers.

Anthony Tay is a third-year undergraduate Biology student minoring in Psychology. He is interested in the biological basis of psychopathology, personality, and social psychology. In this particular lab, he is excited to explore the existence, origins, and possible interventions to eliminate various human stigmas.

Joey Vong is an undergraduate psychology student minoring in sociology. She is interested in exploring various strands of social psychology as well as community psychology through a critical lens. In particular, Joey is passionate about exploring the complexities of social identity and seeks to further understand how intersectionality affects the ways in which individuals experience the world. She aspires to enter a psychological science graduate program and continue her work as an advocate for marginalized and disadvantaged groups.


Lab Alumni

  • Undergraduate Alumni
    • Vartan Bzdikian, 2021
    • Samira Hussein, 2020-2021
    • Krisoula Kotassidis, 2020-2021
    • Natalie Loserro, 2019-2020
    • Jeremy Mesich, 2019-2020
    • David Racioppa, 2019-2020
    • Saba Salemi, 2020
    • Tav Sandhu, 2019-2020
    • Kyla Shaw, 2020-2021

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