Jessica Benson

CFD Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology

Teaching this semester

PSYC 3034. Social Identities and Stigma

An advanced discussion of theory and social psychological research on identity and stigma. Topics include self and identity, self-esteem, system justification, stereotype threat, dis-identification, concealability and controllability. Why individuals stigmatize, the effects of stigmatization for low status groups, and contending with a stigmatized identity are considered.

Jessica Benson is a social psychologist who is primarily interested in initiatives that promote intergroup harmony and facilitate diversity and inclusion. Her current research seeks to understand how identity, encounters with discrimination, and finding meaning through adversity can impact academic achievement. The ultimate goal of this research is to contribute to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women and minority students in higher education. This area of work has been a longstanding research interest of Jessica's, dating back to her undergraduate years at UC Davis working as an academic tutor and mentor for Latino youth and as a research assistant studying the impact of microaggressions on minority students' psychosocial outcomes.


  • B.A., California-Davis
  • M.A., Ph.D., Rutgers