Welcome to the Minds On Social groups And Identity Cognition (MOSAIC) Lab!

We are a team of students and faculty (Dr. Brenda Straka) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who are passionate about using psychological science to study group-based social identities (e.g., race, gender, socioeconomic status), belonging, and experiences of exclusion and discrimination. 

We ask questions such as: What are the downstream outcomes (e.g., related to well-being and identity) of group-based social exclusion and discrimination, especially for historically excluded and marginalized groups? How do people manage, maintain, and navigate between multiple group memberships (e.g., Multiracial and Multicultural people)? What are the early cognitive foundations of thinking about group membership and social categorization? 

To answer these questions and more, we use a broad range of methodologies including experimental, behavioral, and developmental approaches to study how people navigate and are affected by societally-imposed categorizations, systems of inequality, discrimination, and how this impacts well-being and identity development.

For prospective students: Dr. Straka will be reviewing doctoral applications for the 2024-2025 admissions cycle.

Spring 2024
Fall 2023