It’s about MAking a Change

Hi everyone! My name is Isaiah Thomas and I am working with professor Cheryl Dickter and other students on a psychology study about race and media. I posted about it earlier in May, but that was a long time ago, so I will do a recap. The purpose of the particular study I am working on is to determine whether or not providing individuating information in a media description of a suspected criminal would reduce negative perceptions of Black targets when the crime is violent, and thus consistent with Black stereotypes. Participants were asked to read either sympathetic or neutral descriptions of a violent crime where the suspect was either White or Black. They then answered questions about their perceptions of the criminal, and took tests that measured racial prejudice.


Along with working on the race and media project, I also have privilege of working on a survey that was taken by people in the WMSURE scholarship program. For those who don’t know, WMSURE stands for William and Mary Students Undergraduate Research Experience. The purpose of the survey was to learn about how the students felt about different aspects of campus life like communication with professors and students.


Most of the work I do is on the computer organizing the responses of the participants from each project. My organizing the responses of participants, I also have an opportunity to learn about how students at William and Mary think. So far, this is has been the most interesting part about my research experience. Over the passed couple of weeks I have learned about what other students think the pros and cons of campus life of William and Mary are and it has been very informative. The responses will hopefully help me and other students and faculty continue to promote a comfortable atmosphere on campus so that students feel supported at college. Also, the responses can help the college as a whole improve areas of campus life that students believe to be lacking and in need of positive change. I decided to do research mainly for the experience, but I also wanted to use information and I gained from the experience to help people. So far, all of my expectations have been met.