About Me

Caroline ErentzenThanks for visiting! I received my Ph.D. in Social Psychology from York University in 2019, and I have been a lawyer at the Ontario Bar since 2007. My research interests focus on the ways that psychology can inform legal processes and challenge assumptions under the law. I am currently working as a SSHRC-funded post doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Alison Chasteen. Please see below for a full description of my research interests. 

Gendered Islamophobia &  Muslim Rights

My current research explores the intersectionality of gender and religion in predicting cognitive and affective reactions toward Muslim men and women. The second stream of this research focuses more closely on the pursuit of religious equality rights for Muslim persons in Canada. Part of this work will test an intervention strategy to reduce intergroup hostility, focusing on a common superordinate Canadian identity that reframes the discussion as the pursuit of “human rights” rather than “Muslim rights.”

Stranger Harassment

My more recent line of study has focused on gender-based sexual harassment from strangers, both at street level (e.g., catcalling, sexual comments) and online (e.g., trolling on social media,  unsolicited nude photos). Prior research has established that the overwhelming majority of women experience stranger sexual harassment in day-to-day life, but less has explored the prevalence of harassment in cyberspace. We are exploring the prevalence and nature of online harassment, as well as how often men experience similar forms of unwanted sexual attention.

Wrongful Convictions

One line of my research explores the causes and consequences of wrongful convictions. We recently studied the experiences of defence counsel with representing innocent clients, including their estimates of the hidden prevalence of wrongful convictions in Canada. In addition, we are examining the factors that influence the perception that an exoneree is truly innocent and the impact that a formal apology and compensation can have.

Hate Crime and Model Minority Victims

I am interested in how people think about and react to hate crimes, including expectations of model minority victim behaviour. I also explore victim reporting and the factors that increase of decrease victim willingness to report hate crime to police.

Challenge for Cause/Juror Bias

This line of research explores the use of the challenge for cause procedure in screening jurors for racial bias against racialized defendants. Where the challenge is made, how many prospective jurors admit in open court that they would be unable to judge the case fairly due to the defendant’s race? Does it matter how the question is asked, or whether there are other members of the jury panel present when the question is asked? Is the screening question successful at identifying racial bias, and what alternative ways might there be to screen jurors?

CONTACT INFORMATION

If you would like to contact me, please refer to the information below.

carenzen@yorku.ca

Rm. 264, Behavioural Sciences Building
York University,  4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3

@cerentzen