About

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I’m a researcher at Tufts University.  In one line of work, I collaborate with Drusilla Brown on impact evaluations in factories around the world.  Our interdisciplinary approach combines insights from social psychology and economics to better understand which factors lead to improved productivity and working conditions.  Other research, conducted in collaboration with Nimah Mazaheri, examined obstacles for women in the workforce in Indonesia.  Two recent papers are linked below:

Lin, X., Babbitt, L., & Brown, D. (2014). Sexual harassment in the workplace: How does it affect firm performance and profits? Better Work Discussion Paper No. 16. Geneva: International Labor Organization.

Babbitt, L. G., Brown, D., & Mazaheri, N. (2015). Gender, entrepreneurship, and the formal–informal dilemma: Evidence from Indonesia. World Development, 72, 163-174. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2015.02.019

In another line of work, I take a contextual approach to gender, race, and the intersections of these identities.  For example, how does gender diversity affect group dynamics? How does the composition of the group interact with the context of the discussion to affect attitudes and outcomes?

I’m also interested in the factors that affect interracial interactions.  How does the framing of the interaction affect individuals’ experiences of that interaction?  How do individuals respond to someone whose race is ambiguous?

My research also examines perceptions and behavior at the intersection of race and gender.  For example, how do women and men respond differently in interracial contexts?  How do racial stereotypes vary by gender? How do gender and context interact to predict interracial interaction outcomes?

I examine these questions with a combination of methods — from surveys and in-lab interactions to meta-analysis and fMRI.  A few representative papers are linked below:

Wilkins, C. L., Wellman, J. D., Babbitt, L. G., Toosi, N. R., & Schad, K. D. (2015). You can win but I can’t lose: Bias against high-status groups increases their zero-sum beliefs about discrimination. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 57, 1-14. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2014.10.008

Babbitt, L. G. (2013). An intersectional approach to Black/White interracial interactions: The roles of gender and sexual orientation. Sex Roles, 68, 791-802. doi: 10.1007/s11199-011-0104-4

Toosi, N. R., Babbitt, L. G., Ambady, N., & Sommers, S. R. (2012). Dyadic interracial interactions: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 138, 1-27. doi: 10.1037/a0025767

Babbitt, L. G., & Sommers, S. R. (2011). Framing matters: Contextual influences on interracial interaction. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 1233-1244.

Sommers, S. R., & Babbitt, L. G. (2010). On the perils of misplaced assumptions: Appreciating the need for diversity science. Psychological Inquiry, 21, 164-167.