A Spirit of Goodwill
In psychology, the unit of analysis is the person. But there are so many factors that contribute to the well-being of one person that the context of those outside forces cannot simply be ignored.
Assistant Professor of Psychology Mora Reinka’s main research focus is on the effects of stigma-related stress. Being discriminated against, harassed, and stereotyped are all very stressful experiences that can impact mental and physical well-being. And by better understanding how stigma-related stress works, we can reduce its harmful effects.
“We all think, feel, and behave within the context of greater structural forces,” Reinka said. “And, in fact, it would be naïve to think that we can improve the well-being of individual people without addressing the broader social inequities that stratify our lives.”
Ursinus is the perfect place for such research. “It is that spirit of kindness that allows our community to think critically about the issues we face, as well as collaborate to create solutions. There is a real spirit of goodwill here,” she said.