University of Koblenz-Landau
Silvana studied psychology at the University of Goettingen, Germany, and the University of California, Berkeley. Currently, she is a PhD student at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany, under the supervision of Markus Appel. From 2012-2014 she worked at the Department of Work, Organizational and Media Psychology at the University of Linz, Austria. In 2013, she was awarded the Dissertation Prize for Migration Research by the Austrian Academy of Sciences for her PhD Project “The effects of stereotype threat among adolescent immigrants in Austria: Social identity, acculturation strategies, cognitive performance and well-being”.
Silvana’s research expertise lies in the domain of stereotype threat research as well as positive psychology. In her PhD project she focusses on how stereotype threat affects the cognitive performance of adolescent immigrants (mainly from Turkey and ex-Yugoslavia) at school. Hereby, she is especially interested in aspects of their social identity, feelings of belonging, and emotions associated with situations in which stereotype threat might be “in the air”. Her aim is not only understanding underlying psychological processes, but also examining how short interventions could impact their identity strength (e.g. ethnic identity, residence culture identity) in order to reduce the negative effects of stereotype threat and to enhance well-being. The goal of the project is to contribute to a better understanding of the acculturation process of adolescent immigrants and to improve their learning environment.
Fundamentally, Silvana has always regarded psychological research as highly practice-oriented and applied science. She enjoys working interdisciplinary and internationally. Following this, she has also gained practical experience in the field of health promotion, i.a. HIV prevention work in the US and East-Africa. Moreover, she is involved in a project designing (online) interventions to prevent occupational burnout and depression.
Social identity, stereotype threat, (online) interventions, positive psychology, health promotion
Appel, M., Mara, M., & Weber, S. (in press). Media and Identity. In M. B. Oliver & A. Raney (Eds.), Media and Social Life. New York: Routledge.