Jessica MacFarlane

Deputy Director of Research and Assessment

Jessica MacFarlane

Jessica MacFarlane (she/her) is the Deputy Director of Research and Assessment at Perception Institute. Jessica manages Perception’s original studies and translates academic research into accessible reports and presentations. She leads Perception’s needs assessments within organizations; utilizing Climate Surveys, focus groups, and/or one-on-one interviews, the Assessment team examines how identity dynamics show up within the workplace and offer targeted, evidence-based recommendations at the organizational level to bolster strengths and to address areas of concern. In addition, Jessica facilitates workshops on implicit bias, identity anxiety, and stereotype threat across a variety of sectors, including education, criminal justice, healthcare, philanthropy, and media, with the aim of equipping individuals and institutions with the tools to override unconscious phenomena and live their values.

Throughout her career, Jessica has focused on using research to drive equity. Her published research spans the fields of social psychology, behavioral HIV prevention, and harm reduction, in both domestic and international settings. With Perception, Jessica has co-authored reports, such as The ‘Good Hair’ Study: Explicit and Implicit Attitudes Toward Black Women’s Hair (Perception Institute, 2017), The Science of Equality, Volume 2: The Effects of Gender Roles, Implicit Bias, and Stereotype Threat on the Lives of Women and Girls (Perception Institute, 2016), and #PopJustice, Volume 3: Pop Culture, Perceptions, and Social Change (Liz Manne Strategy, 2016), and articles including “Creating Safety and Community: Preventing Implicit Bias and Racial Anxiety from Undermining Neighborhood Safety” (Poverty & Race Research Action Council, 2016) and “Our Brains & Difference: Implicit Bias, Racial Anxiety, and Stereotype Threat in Education” (CSEE Quarterly, 2016).

Jessica earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Her studies focused specifically on the role of anti-black bias in driving the life expectancy gap and other health disparities between black and white Americans. Jessica holds a BA in Psychology and Spanish from Duke University. She is based in Los Angeles, CA.