Sara Mills

Sara Mills

Project Title: Political and Media Psychology

Project description:  My project examines the psychological underpinnings, roots, and consequences of political behavior and how this behavior continually evolves with unintentionally and intentionally politicized media. Utilizing psychology as a tool to understand and mitigate American political issues, I strive to understand individual moral development and how individuals’ conceptions of the world around them, their own identities, and their alignment with particular ideologies and groups inform the way they behave politically. My research illuminates how people inadvertently cope with different sources of inequality that lead to mass suffering and compartmentalize placing different values on different groups of people. While studying the psychology of decision-making, I explore the role media plays in shaping political issues within American culture and the effect of the dependency on media in shaping our identities and opinions. 

Most important accomplishment:  Establishing a mental health task force during the final months of my high school career that combats intersectional inequalities barring students from receiving help and continually works to make mental health resources accessible for all parties within the school

Reflections on the College Scholar Program:  I feel incredibly grateful for the unique educational opportunity this program allows me to pursue. As a College Scholar, I maintain the intellectual freedom to pursue courses based on their relevance to my intended field of study rather than being confined by the limitations of a major that does not analyze the full scope of the issue at hand. Rather than having to take government and psychology classes, left to piece the two together behind the scenes, I have the flexibility to define the scope of this study throughout my time at Cornell. It has certainly reinvigorated my passion for learning and further inspired me by introducing me to so many driven and intellectually curious peers.