Dr. Sarah S. M. Townsend studies the psychological foundations of inequality. Her research reveals the dysfunctional behaviors and physiological costs that can result when individuals’ cultural norms collide with the dominant cultural norms of organizations. She examines how these “cultural divides” are often a hidden source of inequality, but how they can be used to lessen opportunity gaps and fuel greater cross-group understanding. Dr. Townsend uses a multi-method approach, measuring cardiovascular and hormonal responses along with how people think, feel, and act.
Dr. Townsend is an associate editor for the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and an editorial board member for both Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the Academy of Management Discoveries. She has also been featured on Poets and Quants as “Professor of the Week” and was named a “Rising Star” by the Association of Psychological Science. Dr. Townsend’s research has been published in numerous scholarly outlets and she has been an invited speaker at numerous events and conferences hosted by the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, the Academy of Management, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for the Science of Motivation. Further, her research has been covered by various media outlets, including The Atlantic, Huffington Post, New York Magazine, and The Washington Post.
Dr. Townsend teaches undergraduate, MBA, and executive courses on leadership and the science of bias, diversity, and inclusion.
|Articles & Research:|
Nicole Stephens, Sarah Townsend, Lauren Rivera (2021) “The cycle of workplace bias and how to interrupt it,” Research in Organizational Behavior 40.
Andrea Dittmann, Nicole Stephens, Sarah Townsend (2020) “Achievement is not class-neutral: Working together benefits people from working-class contexts,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 119, 517-539.