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UW Psychology Students Plan to Map Prejudice toward African-Americans

September 19, 2014

Based on research suggesting that people with similar attitudes tend to cluster, a group of graduate students in the University of Wyoming Department of Psychology wants to examine the geographic distribution of four distinct types of prejudice against African-Americans across the United States.

“We believe that the distribution of these biases may predict trends in criminal justice practices and social policy endorsement,” says doctoral student Liz Ferguson of Norfolk, Va., a member of the Spatial Psychology Research Group that is planning the mapping project. Ferguson and other members of the research group are all members of the Psychology and Law lab group and are led by Scott Freng, a lecturer in the UW Department of Psychology.

She says the group expects more than 14,000 participants, all of whom will be paid for their time.

“As I’m sure you know, funding for research in the sciences -- and particularly social sciences -- is becoming increasingly difficult to secure,” Ferguson says. “However, we believe strongly in this research and we have partnered with to bring our funding campaign to the public.”

The group wants to raise more than $6,000 via an Internet site to help pay the participants. To contribute and for more information, visit the website

A video describing the project can be viewed at

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