Sydney Klein, HDFS Graduate Student Spotlight, October 2021

Sydney KleinSydney received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from SUNY Geneseo in 2019 and received a Master’s in Psychology from New York University in 2021. She joined the HDFS program in 2021 to work with Dr. Alaina Brenick to examine youth victimization and discrimination experiences in various contexts. Sydney is also interested in how media contributes to the development of stereotyping and discrimination, as well as how we can use media to combat the development of harmful and prejudicial beliefs toward various social groups.

At SUNY Geneseo, Sydney worked in a social cognition lab, examining explicit and implicit bias toward individuals with tattoos in hiring decisions, presenting this research at the 2019 Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Conference in Portland, Oregon. Sydney then developed her own individual project that combined her love of dance and social psychology. Experiences within the dance community led her to identify prominent stereotypes and discrimination in dance, and further motivated her to investigate the psychological bases for these biases. Sydney went on to present this work both at the 2020 SPSP conference and at NYU’s MA research conference, winning 3rd place in the poster competition. Sydney also worked as a lab manager and teaching assistant at Geneseo.

When Sydney arrived at NYU, she became curious about the origins of prejudice and discrimination toward social groups and joined the Conceptual Development and Social Cognition (CDSC) lab at NYU. For her master’s thesis, she performed a content analysis of the quality and quantity of racial representation, stereotypes, and status depictions in popular children’s media, and how children’s media consumption predicted their racial biases overtime. Sydney received NYU’s Model-Mentorship Grant in 2020 to conduct this research. In 2021, Sydney presented this work at the SPSP Annual Conference, and NYU’s MA research conference where she won 2nd place in the poster competition.

Looking ahead, Sydney is excited to join the HDFS family at UConn and begin participating in research that centers on taking an interdisciplinary and developmental approach!