PsyClub (Psychology Club) is an on-campus club that hosts meetings once a week for undergraduate students interested and passionate about all things psychology at Northeastern.


At one of PsyClub’s most recent meetings on Wednesday April 11th, the CORE Lab’s very own Jessica Leffers, a second year PhD student, presented her masters research on linkages between essentialist thinking about race and facial recognition. Jessica’s  work is driven by three key questions: first, do essentialist beliefs about specific racial groups relate to facial recognition memory for people of those racial groups? Second, do essentialist beliefs about out-groups predict the own-race bias (a widely documented phenomenon in which people are more accurate when recognizing faces from within their own racial group compared to faces outside of their own racial group). Third, how does manipulating essentialist beliefs affect the relationship between racial essentialism, facial recognition memory, and the own-race bias? This research is important because it could lead to a better understanding of the cognitive mechanisms behind racial biases. Furthermore, this research might allow us to address memory deficits for recognizing out-group members by addressing the very cognitive factors that underlie such memory deficits. To learn more about Jessica’s work and view her RISE poster, click here.


To learn more about PsyClub please contact Hunter Coury (, Vice President of the PsyClub at Northeastern and CORE Lab undergraduate research associate!