• Dr. Jason A. Okonofua

    Social Psychologist

    Assistant Professor

    University of California, Berkeley

    Thank you for visiting!

     

    Dr. Jason Okonofua is a social psychologist in the Psychology Department at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Okonofua is interested in science-based and scalable strategies to combat inequality in society. This work spans contexts such as education, criminal justice, and business. It investigates how negative stereotypes can contribute to inequality in these context and how that process can be dismantled. For example, some of his research in education investigates how the effects of one person’s stereotyping and another person’s threat reverberate and escalate over time. He asks how stereotypes about stigmatized children can shape how they interact with teachers, administrators, and police officers. He also develops theory-based psychological interventions that protect teacher-student relationships from the deleterious effects of stigma and bias. Dr. Okonofua's work is situated to inform psychological theory, field experimentation, and public policy.

     

    Research interests: stereotyping, threat, scalable psychological intervention, bias, behavioral science, education, criminal justice.

  • Social Psychology Research

    "...to affect motivation on a large scale."

    Curriculum Vitae

    CONTACT INFORMATION

    Department of Psychology

    University of California

    Tolman Hall

    Berkeley, California 94702

     

    Primary e-mail: okonofua@berkeley.edu

     

    ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

    Assistant Professor, Psychology Department

    University of California, Berkeley, CA 2016-present

     

    Post Doctoral Researcher, Psychology Department

    Stanford University, Stanford, CA 2015-2016

     

    EDUCATION

    Ph.D. in psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

    Advisers: Dr. Gregory Walton & Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt

    Dissertation title: “When bias and threat persistently interact: A holistic approach to understand the lingering effects of stereotypes.” August 2015

     

    B.A. in psychology and African American studies, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

    Advisers: Dr. Jennifer Richeson & Dr. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale June 2008

     

    AWARDS

    Cialdini Award,

    Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 2018

     

    Distinguished Scholar Award,

    Stanford University, Vice Provost of Graduate Education, 2015

     

    Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence,

    Stanford University, Black Community Services Center, 2015

     

    Graduate Research Opportunity Award,

    Stanford University, School of Humanities and Science, 2013

     

    Diversity Travel Award,

    Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), 2013

     

    Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award,

    Stanford University, Psychology One Program, 2011

     

    First Runner-up Graduate Research Poster Award,

    Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), 2010

     

    William H. Exum Award for scientific paper,

    Northwestern University, Sociology Department, 2008

     

    Undergraduate Fellowship,

    Northwestern University, Institute for Policy Research, 2007

     

    GRANT AND FELLOWSHIP SUPPORT

     

    Google/Tides Foundation

    Research Grant, 2017-present

     

    Character Lab
    Research Grant, 2015-present

    Social Psychological Answers to Real-World Questions, SPARQ

    Fellow, 2014 - Present

     

    Bureau of Justice Statistics, Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research

    Research Grant, 2013

     

    Diversity Dissertation Research Opportunity, Stanford Vice Provost for Graduate Education,

    Research Grant, 2013-2015

     

    Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence

    Fellowship, 2013-2015

     

    Ford Foundation

    Diversity Dissertation Fellowship Honorable Mention, 2011

     

    National Science Foundation

    Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention, 2010

     

    Ford Foundation

    Diversity Dissertation Fellowship Honorable Mention, 2010

     

    Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education

    Graduate Fellowship, Stanford University, 2009-2015

     

    MANUSCRIPTS AND PUBLICATIONS

    Okonofua, J. A. & Eberhardt, J. A. (2015). Two-strikes: Race and disciplinary action in K-12 schooling. Psychological Science.

     

    Okonofua, J. A., Walton, G. M., & Eberhardt, J. A. (2016). A vicious cycle: Racial bias and perceptions of bias interactively perpetuating disproportionate discipline. Perspectives on Psychological Science.

     

    Okonofua, J. A., Paunesku, D., & Walton, G. M. (2016). A brief intervention to encourage empathic discipline halves suspension rates among adolescents. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

     

     

    INVITED TALKS AND PRESENTATIONS

     

    LaCosse-Brannon, J., Okonofua, J. A., Boucher, K., & Burnette, J. (2016). "New Directions in Mindset Research." Invited Symposium Presentation, the 28th APS Annual Convention, Chicago, IL

     

    Okonofua, J. A. (2016). "Combating Implicit Bias to Reduce Racial Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System." Invited Presentation, Development and Integration of Mitigation Evidence Conference, New Orleans, LA

     

    Okonofua, J. A. (2016). "Combating School Suspensions with Science." Invited Presentation, St. Helena Public Library, St. Helena, CA

     

    Okonofua, J. A. (2016). "A Vicious Cycle: A Social-Psychological Account of Extreme Racial Disparities in School Discipline." Colloquia, University of California-Berkeley’s Institute of Personality and Social Research (IPSR), Berkeley, CA

     

    Okonofua, J. A. (2016). "Implicit Bias in School Discipline and a Brief Intervention to Mitigate Suspensions." Invited Presentation, Seneca Family of Agencies, Oakland, CA

     

    Okonofua, J. A. (2016). "Combating School Suspensions with Science." Invited Presentation, Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Conference, San Diego, CA

     

    Okonofua, J. A., Harris, M., & Benton, H. (2015). "Improving Legal Advocacy for Children by Addressing Implicit Bias." Symposium, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, New Orleans, LA

     

    Okonofua, J. A. (2015). "Implicit Bias in School Discipline and a Brief Intervention to Mitigate Suspensions." Invited Presentation, Seneca Family of Agencies, Oakland, CA

     

    Glaser, J. & Okonofua, J. A. (2015). "Combating School Suspensions with Science." Invited Presentation, National Association for Advancement of Colored People’s Legal Defense Fund’s Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity for Capital and Non-Capital Defense Lawyers, New York, NY

     

    Okonofua, J. A. (2015). "Combating School Suspensions with Science." Invited Presentation, Californians for Justice’s Race & Education Webinar, Oakland, CA

     

    Okonofua, J. A., Harris, M., & Benton, H. (2015). "Combating Implicit Bias to Reduce Racial Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System." Symposium, American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law Conference, Washington, DC

     

    Okonofua, J. A. (2015). "Bias and Disciplinary Action: An Intervention to Combat School Suspensions." Invited Presentation, American Civil Liberties Union, San Francisco, CA

     

    Okonofua, J. A., Harris, M., & Briscoe-Smith, A. (2015). "Combating Implicit Bias to Reduce Disparities in the School to Prison Pipeline." Symposium, Equal Justice Society’s Mind, Science Conference, Oakland, CA

     

    Okonofua, J. A. (2015). "Two-strikes: Race and the Disciplining of Young Adults." Invited Interview, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Show, New York, NY

     

    Okonofua, J. A. (2015). "Implicit Bias and the School to Prison Pipeline." Invited Presentation, National Center for Youth Law, Oakland, CA

     

    Okonofua, J. A., Harris, M., & Benton, H. (2014). "Combating Implicit Bias to Reduce Racial Disparities in the School to Prison Pipeline." Symposium, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, Arlington, VA

     

    Okonofua, J. A., Harris, M., & Benton, H. (2014). "Combating Implicit Bias to Reduce Racial Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System." Symposium, National Partnership For Juvenile Services, Greensboro, NC

     

    Okonofua, J. A. (2014). ) "How stereotypes contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline." Colloquia, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s and Black Psychology Students Association’ Walking Targets, Stanford, CA

     

    Okonofua, J. A. (2013). "Disproportionate discipline: How the effects of stereotypes escalate." Poster Presentation, Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Conference, New Orleans, LA

     

    Okonofua, J. A. (2011). "Race in school settings: Subtle cues and disciplinary activity." Poster Presentation, Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Conference, San Antonio, TX

     

    COURSES

    Instructor

    Introduction to Social Psychology, Stanford University

     

    Lecturer

    Introduction to Development Psychology, Stanford University

     

    Lecturer

    The Psychology of Bias, San Quentin Federal Prison

     

    ADVISING AND MENTORING

    Consultant to Teaching Fellows, Psychology One Program, 2013-present

    Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) program for underrepresented graduate students, Graduate Mentor, 2012-present

    Ernest Houston Johnson Scholars (EHJS) mentoring program for underrepresented undergraduate students, Graduate Mentor, 2011-2012

    Mind, Culture, and Society (MCS) Lab, Graduate Mentor, 2009-2011

     

    ADDITIONAL TRAINING

    Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research, University of Michigan, 2013

    Stanford University Small Group Evaluation Training, 2013

    Odum Statistics Institute, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 2010

    Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research, University of Michigan, 2010

    Odum Statistics Institute, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 2009

  • News Coverage

    MSNBC

    Segment on Melissa Harris Perry’s Show

    Watch interview about my research that shows how large race disparities in school discipline in the United States are, in part, driven by racial stereotypes that can lead teachers to escalate their negative responses to Black students over the course of multiple interpersonal (e.g., teacher-to-student) encounters.

    Posted: 4/26/15

    The New York Times

    Article by David L. Kirp

    The Wall Street Journal

    Article by Alison Gopnik

    Public Broadcasting Station

    Article by Sarah D. Sparks

    Huffington Post

    Article by Rebecca Klein

    Reuters

    Article by Alex Dobuzinskis

    Pacific Standard

    Article by Nathan Collins

    Science Update by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

    Podcast by Bob Hirshon

    "Race & School Discipline"

    Posted: 4/22/15

    Huffington Post

    Article by Wray Herbert

  • Ongoing Research

    Mindsets Intervention

    Suspension Rates

    I am currently collaborating with school districts throughout the country to continue to test the efficacy of my "Empathic Discipline" intervention which has been found to cut suspension rates in half and can potentially combat the effects of implicit bias.

    Transition Intervention

    Juvenile Detention

    I am currently developing a theory-based psychological intervention around reintegration for juvenile offenders.