Garrett Michael Souza
MIT EECS | CS+HASS Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Effects of Visual Media on Implicit Biases
We are exposed daily to thousands of images presented by various media outlets, social networks, and corporations. The danger with this ubiquity of visual media lies in the ease with which we accept and digest an image how quickly a picture can equate reality. This project aims to understand how tropes of racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities within digital media can impact the perception of these demographics in real life. Affective computing techniques will be used to track the emotional and psychological responses of individuals as they are presented images that directly contradict these tropes. In doing so, this project hopes to reveal how engagement with digital media impacts implicit biases, and if it can be used to reverse these biases through sustained and deliberate exposure.
SuperUROP allows me to bring together all my coursework, personal interests, and professional experience into a single project. I have always been interested in the human side of technology, understanding how it can be used to evoke emotions and provoke thought. This program gives me the ability to create and take ownership of a project that is meaningful to me, and I hope that will start a discussion on how we engage with media.