Esteban Cardemil

Esteban Cardemil received a BA from Swarthmore College in 1993 and an MA and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 and 2000, respectively. He was subsequently at Brown University, where he completed his predoctoral internship in 2000, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship. He has been at Clark University since 2002.

Cardemil’s research focuses on the understanding and addressing the mental healthcare disparities in the US that continue to disproportionately affect individuals from low-income and racial/ethnic minority backgrounds. His research programme includes both applied and basic research that lie at the intersection of cognitive-behavioural theories, prevention science, and cultural and contextual approaches. Current research projects take place in the local community. One ongoing research project is an NIMH-funded mixed-methods investigation of a help-seeking for depression among Latino men. Other research projects investigate the effects of culture and gender in a variety of contexts, including middle- and high-school urban children, Latino families, and the therapy process. In addition, Cardemil has written about the incorporation of considerations of race, ethnicity, and culture into psychotherapy practice and research.

His recent publications include:

  • Edwards, L.M., & Cardemil, E.V. (in press). Clinical approaches to assessing cultural values in Latinos. In K. Geisinger (Ed.), Psychological testing of Hispanics: Clinical and intellectual issues.
  • Sanchez, M., & Cardemil, E.V. (in press).¬† Brave new world: Mental health experiences of Puerto Ricans, immigrant Latinos and Brazilians in Massachusetts. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.
  • Moreno, O., & Cardemil, E.V. (2013). Religiosity and mental health services: An exploratory study of help seeking among Latinos. Journal of Latina/o Psychology, 1, 53-67.

Credits to Clark University

Published: 25 July 2014

Last update: 04 April 2015


Joshua Aronson

Joshua AronsonJoshua Aronson is an Associate Professor of Applied Psychology at New York University. Most of his works seek to understand and remediate race and gender gaps in educational achievement and standardised test performance. Often, the low performance of blacks in particular, but other minorities as well, gets casually chalked up to genetic or cultural differences that supposedly block acquisition of skills or values necessary for academic achievement.

In sharp contrast, Aronson, along with his students and colleagues, have uncovered some exciting and encouraging answers to these old questions by looking at the psychology of stigma – the way human beings respond to negative stereotypes about their racial or gender group. What they have found suggests that being targetted by well-known cultural stereotypes (“blacks are unintelligent”, “girls can’t do math”, and so on) can be very threatening, a predicament¬† Aronson and his mentor called “stereotype threat”.

Stereotype threat engenders a number of interesting psychological and physiological responses, many of which interfere with intellectual performance and academic motivation. Aronson has conducted numerous studies showing how stereotype threat depresses the standardised test performance of black, Latino, and female college students. These same studies showed how changing the testing situation (even subtly) to reduce stereotype threat, can dramatically improve standardised test scores. This work offers a far more optimistic view of race and gender gaps than the older theories that focused on poverty, culture, or genetic factors. They have found that we can do a lot to boost both achievement and the enjoyment of school by understanding and attending to these psychological processes, thereby unseating the power of stereotypes and prejudice to foil the academic aspirations of the young people who, just by virtue of being born black, brown, or female, are subjected to suspicions of inferiority.

A particular focus of his recent work is on creating scalable interventions that any teacher can use to improve the performance and learning of their students.

Aronson completed his PhD in Social Psychology and MA in Social Psychology at Princeton University. He earned his BA in Psychology at University of California, Santa Cruz.

His recent publications include:

  • Aronson, J. & Aronson, E. (2011). Readings About the Social Animal, 11th edition. New York, Worth/Freeman (link)
  • Aronson, J. (2002). Improving academic achievement: Impact of Psychological Factors on Education. San Diego: Academic Press. (link)
  • Aronson, J. & Steele, C.M. (2005). Stereotypes and the fragility of human competence, motivation, and self-concept. In C. Dweck & E. Elliot (Eds.), Handbook of Competence & Motivation. New York, Guilford.

Credits to New York University

Published: 20 March 2014

Last update: 22 April 2015


J. Philippe Rushton

J. Philip RushtonJ. Philippe Rushton was born in Bournemouth, United Kingdom, in 1943. His father was a building contractor; his mother was French and gave him his middle name. They then emigrated to South Africa and later to Canada so he went to school in several places. Rushton returned to England and earned a BSc in psychology from Birkbeck, University of London in 1970 and in 1973 received his PhD from the London School of Economics for work on altruism in children. He then moved to the University of Oxford for a one-year post-doc to continue his research on personality development in children. After that he returned to Canada where he taught at York University from 1974-1976 and the University of Toronto until 1977. He then moved to the University of Western Ontario where he was made a full professor in 1985. Rushton then received a DSc from the University of London in 1992.

Rushton’s research interest was altruism. Why people help others poses a challenge for theories of human development and evolution. His early work focused on the social learning of generosity in 7- to 11-year-old children. After writing a book, Altruism, Socialization, and Society, 1980, examining the influence of the family, the educational system, and the mass media, he broadened his approach to include sociobiology and behavioral genetics. Rushton then carried out twin studies using the University of London Twin Register in the U.K. and found that individual differences in empathy and nurturance are about 50% heritable. So are individual differences in aggression and crime. Some of these differences are mediated by testosterone.

More controversial was his work on race differences. In new studies and reviews of the world literature, he consistently found that East Asians and their descendants average a larger brain size, greater intelligence, more sexual restraint, slower rates of maturation, and greater law abidingness and social organisation than do Europeans and their descendants who average higher scores on these dimensions than do Africans and their descendants. To explain this pattern he proposed a gene-based evolutionary theory. His book, Race, Evolution, and Behavior reviews the theory and many of the data sets.

See also his book’s homepage: Charles Darwin

Credits to University of Western Ontario

Published: 19 March 2014

Last update: 14 August 2015