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Director of Psychological Science Program & Associate Professor

Jeanine Skorinko

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Jeanine Skorinko is an Associate Professor of psychology and the Director of the Psychological Science Program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).  She has been studying psychology for a long, long time.  She received her A.A. from Bard College at Simon’s Rock, her B.A in psychology and anthropology from Rice University, and her M.A and Ph.D in social psychology from the University of Virginia.

On a daily basis, she attempts to understand how factors in our social environment, especially those factors that we are unaware of, influence decision and interpersonal interactions.  More specially, she investigates how different types of external and internal influences (e.g., social tuning, stereotypes/stigmas, the ability to perspective take, cultural orientation) affect attitudes, decisions, and interactions.  She is particularly interested in how these factors influence decisions and relationships within the legal and organizational domains.  Ultimately, her research aims to promote and enhance equality, diversity, and cultural understanding.

She also plays with colleagues in Robotics to examine the intersection of technology and reducing stigmatization.  She currently is co-PI on two grants from the National Science Foundation looking at these issues.  For one project, the team is designing robotics to assist those with age-related disabilities.  For the second project, the team is investigating how robotics and technology can assist the treatment of Ebola without further stigmatizing patients and being sensitive to cultural norms.  She owns two robots: her Roomba named “room-bie” (original, she knows) and her Braava named, yes you guessed it “bra-vie”.

She also enjoys teaching and mentoring undergraduate students and tries to enable them to become better citizens to ultimately make the world a better place. She teaches courses such as Introduction to Psychological Science, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Psychology of Gender, Cross-Cultural Psychology, Human Sexuality, Psychology and Law, and Experimental Design and Analysis.  In particular, she loves getting students involved in research, and can often be found in her office or research lab with students brainstorming their latest and greatest experiment ideas.  She works with a local high school to have seniors intern in her lab for a month during the summer to get them interested in psychological research.  In 2012, she received the Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education at WPI. WPI also nominated her for the CASE U.S. Professor of the Year Award.

When not in her office or research lab, she is often found expending her excess energy in some way, shape, or form.  She exercises on a daily basis.  She swims, runs, bikes, skis (downhill and cross country), practices yoga, does Pilates, hikes, and the list continues on (she also teaches skiing and yoga).  She also enjoys spending time with her husband, Casey.  He gets her to run different races, takes her to concerts, and makes sure she is up to date with her celebrity gossip, shows, and movies.  She makes sure he gets his daily dose of exercise, bores him to death with her numerous daily stories, gets him to explore food whether they cook it or eat out, and drags him all over the globe.  She is also an avid traveler.  She’s been to 40 out of the 50 states, 32 countries, and 5 continents (6 after Semester at Sea!).  She’s aiming to see the world’s different penguins in their natural habitats soon!