Steinmetz Spotlight: Adenike Hickson (’22)


Image provided by Adenike Hickson (’22)

Avanti Khare, Sci-Tech Editor

This week’s Steinmetz Spotlight is Adenike Hickson ‘22, a Psychology and Chinese ID major. Her research focuses on the effects of increased harassment and violence towards Asian-Americans under the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and their sense of belonging. This research is extremely relevant to the current day political climate, as March 16, 2022 marked the one year anniversary of the tragic Atlanta Spa Shootings that targeted several Asian-owned massage parlors and spas.


She writes about her project, “Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a lot of discrimination toward Asian Americans in the United States. For example, reports of physical attacks, verbal harassment, vandalism, and discrimination directed toward Asians and Asian Americans, have increased across the country since the start of the pandemic. The purpose of my study is to extend research related to the COVID-19 pandemic and Asian Americans, and to gain a better understanding how the discrimination experienced during this pandemic affects Asian Americans’ sense of belonging. We will present participants with fabricated statistics (e.g. 80% vs 20%) about how much White Americans blame Asians and Asian Americans for the virus. We predict that participants who are presented with a high level of blame (80%) that Asians and Asian Americans are responsible for the virus (compared to a low level of blame; 20%) will report greater perceptions of prejudice/discrimination, greater discomfort when interacting with White Americans, greater fear, lower self-esteem/self-worth, and lower sense of belonging.”