Stephanie Permut ’15

My conference project taught me to be a more diligent researcher and communicator. Having the opportunity to work with faculty members one-on-one really reinforced the importance of effective communication in academic research across disciplines.

Stephanie's Journey

Conference Work

“Racial Stereotyping and Systematic Errors in Judgment and Memory”

My project, titled “Racial Stereotyping and Systematic Errors in Judgment and Memory,” was intended to serve as an accessible reference for noncognitive scientists to help them better understand the relationship between human memory and existing legal and policy frameworks. I focused on two prevailing assumptions in criminal law and policy: that individuals’ memories of crime-related events reliably and objectively convey the contents of those scenarios; and that individuals are capable of rendering accurate judgments of criminality based on the facts of crimes alone. I drew from existing social cognitive science research to challenge the overall factuality of these assumptions, and I offered an empirical discussion of the ways implicit ideological biases and stereotypes interfere with the extraction of “truth” in legal contexts.

Adam Brown (psychology) and Michael Granne (history) advised me. They were incredibly helpful and patient! They were very involved in the preliminary research, pointing me in the direction of topical literature relating to both the psychology and legal policy of my thesis. They read over countless drafts, provided consistently insightful feedback, and tolerated my frequent work-related panics and last-minute revisions.

The process taught me to be a more diligent researcher and communicator. Having the opportunity to work with faculty members one on one really reinforced the importance of effective communication in academic research across disciplines.

Faculty: Adam Brown

Discipline: Psychology

Career Preparation

The Importance of Internships

I was a Brain Summer Science Intern at Cornell University the summer I returned from Oxford and a research assistant at Harvard University’s psychology department last summer. Both experiences familiarized me with the demands of independent psychology research at the graduate level. In each instance, I worked on projects involving social perception and decision-making capacities over time (called temporal discounting/mental accounting). Full-time involvement in the research production process offered a nice, empirical backdrop to the more theoretical insights I had learned in past courses.

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Extracurriculars

Clubs & Organizations

VOXI was involved in many on campus organizations, including student senate (as senior class co-president), VOX (Voices for Planned Parenthood), the on-campus Workers’ Justice Group, and most importantly, the Sarah Lawrence Laser Tag Club. Each organization had a different focus bridged, perhaps, by the broader theme of “social justice and campus reform” (except Laser Tag Club). In this sense, they all complemented one another quite nicely. The conversations I would have in one space, though unique to that particular group in subject, often lead me to think more critically about separate, but related issues that arose in others. Moreover, clubs at Sarah Lawrence offer a great way to interact with students who exist totally outside of your concentration in a formal, but not so formal setting.

In Laser Tag club, you play laser tag and arcade games for free and receive complimentary pizza and ice cream cake.

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