My name is Kayden Stockwell and I am a Ph.D. student at the University of Virginia studying developmental psychology with a concentration in quantitative methods. Under the supervision of Dr. Vikram Jaswal, I investigate autistic social interaction and perceptions of autistic people. I also work with Dr. Tanya Evans to study live dyadic interactions using EEG hyperscanning.
Outside of the lab, I am passionate about increasing access for disabled students in higher education in addition to being active with local LGBTQ+ organizations. I aim to continue advocacy in these areas and to bring the queer and disability communities closer together.
BA in Psychology and BS in Human Development, 2018
Binghamton University, State University of New York
Autistic people, by definition, differ in social behavior from non-autistic individuals. One characteristic common to many autistic people is a special interest in a particular topic—something spoken about with such frequency and intensity that it may be stigmatized by non-autistic peers. We investigated college students’ interest in interacting with peers described as behaving in ways characteristic of autism (or not), and additionally described as having a special interest (or not). As expected, autistic characters were more stigmatized, but autistic characters with a special interest were not more stigmatized than those without. Only among non-autistic characters was having a special interest associated with greater stigmatization. Findings give further insight into factors influencing the stigmatization of autistic college students.
Click here for Part 1’s transcript and here for Part 2’s transcript (avaliable soon).