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My research aims to contribute new perspectives on the role that social biases play in shaping and constructing public opinion and behavior in stable times and times of conflict (e.g., the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) and crisis (e.g., the COVID-19 infodemic). In pursuing this research agenda, I study the mechanisms underlying the use and effects of social biases on public opinion and behavior. Specifically, I study to what extent stereotypical frames and perceptions shape emotions, attitudes, and behavior toward marginalized groups or increase support for violence or human rights abuses against them; how media representation, information, and misinformation may construct and change attitudes, emotions, and behavior in times of crisis; and to what extent the use and perception of digital technologies (e.g., social media, artificial intelligence) affect attitudes and human behavior. In my research, I rely on an interdisciplinary perspective combined with a broad range of methods, including quantitative methods such as experiments, public opinion polls, and content analysis, as well as qualitative approaches like textual analysis, in-depth interviews, and participatory observations.

My current work focuses on comparative studies of political and social groups, such as ultra-Orthodox communities, people who disaffiliate from ultra-Orthodox communities, the LGBT and Queer communities, refugees, immigrants, politicians, and nations, across several countries. 

Stereotypical communication. Stereotypes are, as a cognitive scheme, a central component of human behavior. As such, implicit and explicit stereotypes drive various social actions during both stable and unstable times and intensify during periods of crisis. To illustrate the use and effects of stereotypes we use a variety of qualitative (in-depth interviews and textual analysis), quantitative (experiments, public opinion polls, and content analysis), and computational methods. We are currently focusing on investigating the role of stereotypical perceptions and discourses in the formation of attitudes and behavior, as well as the role of emotions and prior beliefs as mechanisms underlying the effect of stereotypes.

Gendered language and inequality. Language is one of the fundamental factors underpinning a variety of forms of interpersonal and mediated communication. As such, language is a key force that can shape attitudes and perceptions toward gender inequality and sexual minorities. We use two central lines of research to study the ways in which gendered language, such as masculine generics, harms self-efficacy, performance, and opportunities for success among women and LGBTQ individuals, as well as support for gender equality. Studying the use of gendered language involves the use of content analysis of media, cultural, and educational content, while studying the effects of gendered language on self-efficacy, performance, and opportunities for success, as well as support for gender equality, involves the use of a series of in-lab and online experimental studies.

Activism for change. Public expressions of activism, such as protests, have the potential to influence public opinion and social behavior. To study the effects that social movements and activism have in changing attitudes and political behavior we used a mixed-methods approach, including quantitative (public opinion polls, experiments, and content analysis) and qualitative (textual analysis, in-depth interviews, and participatory observations) methods to study social and political movements that relate to issues central to the political agenda. To do so, we study social movements against social and economic inequality and anti-LGBTQ rights, and for equal opportunities for people who disaffiliate from the ultra-Orthodox community.

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