"I chose to enroll as a PhD student at SFU so that I could continue working alongside my supervisor, Dr. Stephen Wright, and continue our line of research examining the psychological predictors of support for collective harm."

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Student Profile: Maitland Waddell

March 10, 2022
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Psychology doctoral student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

I am currently completing my PhD in Social Psychology at Simon Fraser University. The research I conduct in Dr. Stephen Wright's Intergroup Relations and Social Justice lab broadly focuses on understanding the psychological motives for collective action: when people work together to achieve their group's goals. More specifically, my dissertation work focuses on understanding when and why people come to support collective actions that are intended to cause harm to another group.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I chose to enroll as a PhD student at SFU so that I could continue working alongside my supervisor, Dr. Stephen Wright, and continue our line of research examining the psychological predictors of support for collective harm. As an internationally-recognized expert in the field of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, Steve continues to provide me with the skills and wisdom I need to pursue a career in academia.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

The focus of my work is to understand when and why people will support acts that are committed by their own group and are intended to cause harm to another group. This is an incredibly important aspect of collective harm to understand, as it is often widespread support from the group that gives license for individuals to engage in destructive and harmful actions.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

Dr. Wright's supervision, an incredible community of supportive friends in the Psychology Department, an environmentally-active student base, and the ability to set my own schedule.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

Laurine Harrison Graduate Thesis Award - provided financial relief for extra debt incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mitacs Globalink Research Award - allowed me to travel to Lisbon, Portugal, to collaborate with Dr. Sven Waldzus, an internationally-renowned expert in the field of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations.

SSHRC Canadian Graduate Scholarship, Master's - provided financial stability throughout my master's studies.

 

Contact : mwaddell@sfu.ca

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