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What I do?

I go by Miao, pronounced "Mee-Aw". My last name is pronounced like "Chien".

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Detroit Mercy. I received my Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and Education from the University of Toronto, Canada. I completed two years of postdoctoral psychology training in the Inequality in American Initiative program at Harvard University.

I am interested in child social cognition, to answer the questions about how children acquire knowledge of social categories, such as race and gender, and how they use the knowledge to perceive, evaluate, and judge others. I have two lines of research: (1) the origin and root of implicit intergroup bias and the social-cognitive factors that drive bias development; (2) the malleability of implicit social biases, such as race bias, and gender bias, and interventions to reduce them in childhood.

I use various methodologies and theories from cognitive, social-cognitive, and developmental psychology. I developed a novel child-friendly Implicit Bias Test to measure children's implicit racial bias and an innovative training program, referred to as individuation training, to reduce children’s racial bias. I am currently developing new intervention strategies, such as cooperative games, synchronous body movements, food sharing, to reduce racial biases. 

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