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Meet Our Principal Investigator

Leanne Son Hing

Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Guelph

Ph.D. Psychology, University of Waterloo

M.A. Industrial/Organizational Psychology, University of Waterloo

B.A. Honours Psychology, Queen’s University

Contact Information

Research Interests

My research focuses on social justice issues. In general, I am interested in the disparities or inequalities that exist between individuals and groups in terms of status, power, and outcomes (e.g., income) in the workplace. I have long-term interests in who is more (vs. less) likely to want to maintain and promote inequality. As such, I have focused on understanding the nature of prejudice (i.e., racism and sexism). Furthermore, I study how people make sense of the differences that exist between individuals and groups in society: are they a result of a fairly operating meritocracy, in which the cream rises to the top, or are they a result of injustices, such as discrimination or processes of cumulative disadvantage? Such different understandings of why inequality exists plays an important role in determining people’s reaction to social and organizational policies that are designed to mitigate inequalities like  employment equity, or diversity initiatives.

Advising Philosophy

My goal is to conduct top-quality research in close collaboration with students. As a supervisor, I believe it is my role to help students to develop their skills, self-efficacy, and autonomy. I try to create an environment in my lab that is supportive and challenging. Students who work with me get a lot of guidance and feedback-from me and from other students in the lab. I expect students in my lab to be motivated, organized, courteous of others, hardworking, and to have burning intellectual curiosity. Junior students work with me to develop a shared line of research. Senior students have the flexibility to select their own topic under the umbrella of social justice issues. I will be accepting a new graduate student for Fall 2023.

Fun Fact

Outside of academics Dr. Son Hing enjoys hiking, baking, working out, and doing karate.

Scholarly Honours and Awards

  • Department of Psychology Service Award (2018)
  • Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) (2008 – 2018)
  • Scholar of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s (CIFAR) Successful Societies Program (2005 – 2007) 
  • Department of Psychology Teaching Award (2001)
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