Date: Wednesday 17 Nov 2021 – 3:00pm-4:30pm

Title:  Bey, Bay, or Bae: Cultural Considerations for Cognitive Science Research Methods

Location: Online

Speaker:  Rihana S. Mason, Ph.D. – Urban Child Study Center, Georgia State University


There is a renewed focus on ensuring that psychological research is usable and useful for all persons. To this end, psychological science must embrace research that removes participation barriers for persons from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In order to fully achieve this goal, certain research methodologies must be reconsidered to include alternative approaches that are more equitable and inclusive.

Recent technological innovations have provided alternatives to commonly used methods in cognitive science so that they can be used with a wider range of participant groups. The discussion will highlight more about these technological advancements used by cognitive scientists and neuroscientists to study the ways in which we can distinguish between the concepts of Bey, Bay, and Bae visually and through speech. Cultural considerations for weighing approaches and selecting stimuli for experiments will be discussed.


Rihana S. Mason, Ph.D. is a research scientist at the Urban Child Study Center at Georgia State University. Prior to joining the UCSC, Dr. Mason served as an Associate Professor in Psychology at Emmanuel College for several years where she helped to expand the undergraduate curriculum in psychology. Her primary research interests include vocabulary and reading comprehension development and the evaluation of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

She is the co-author of two books: Academic Pipeline Projects: Diversifying the Bachelors to the Professoriate (Byrd & Mason, 2021) and Thinking Critically About Your Career in Psychology (Collier & Mason, 2014). She is also working on a new co-edited book, Early Contributions of Women of Color in Psychology (Grahe, Ceynar & Mason, in progress). She is the President of the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) a member of the Psi Chi Diversity Advisory Committee. Dr. Mason earned her doctorate in Experimental Psychology with an emphasis in Cognitive Psychology from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC in 2004. She is a proud alumna of Spelman College where she participated in the National Institutes of Mental Health Careers and Opportunities in Undergraduate Research Training Program (NIMH-COR) and was later named a NIMH-COR star in 2007. She was also the recipient of the Predoctoral Ford Fellowship (2000) administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation and actively participates in the meeting of the Senior Ford Fellows.