Joel Le Forestier

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow
Cornell University
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I research how people experience and navigate intergroup contexts and how to intervene to improve intergroup relations and minimize group-based disparities.

I research how people experience and navigate intergroup contexts and how to intervene to improve intergroup relations and minimize group-based disparities.


Members of stigmatized groups are motivated to avoid becoming the targets of stigma and prejudice. Identity concealment (i.e., preventing others from finding out that one holds a certain identity), serves as a tool for members of stigmatized groups to do so. I have found that identity concealment achieves its goal of of helping members of stigmatized groups avoid prejudice and stigmatization (Le Forestier, Page-Gould, Lai, & Chasteen, 2022) and thus facilitates their navigation of intergroup contexts (Le Forestier, Page-Gould, Lai, & Chasteen, 2020). However, I have also found that concealment is judged harshly—people who conceal are perceived as immoral and unsociable (Le Forestier, Page-Gould, & Chasteen, 2022)—and concealment is associated with reduced health-seeking behavior (Le Forestier, Page-Gould, & Chasteen, in press) and worse physical and mental health (Le Forestier, Chan, Shephard, Page-Gould, & Chasteen, In press).Central to my approach to studying concealment is a novel person-by-identity approach. This approach does not assume that all identities of a certain kind are equally concealable, but rather allows individuals to have varied experiences of concealability. This approach outperforms traditional methods for studying concealment at predicting both who conceals and how successful concealment will be (Le Forestier, Page-Gould, & Chasteen, in press).In ongoing and upcoming work, I am examining another negative outcome of concealment: health. I am currently examining the mechanisms that account for why concealment undermines health, and am planning lab and field interventions to sever the link between concealment and health and reduce health disparities.

What are the best ways to reduce prejudice and improve intergroup relations?

Findings from my research highlight why prejudice reduction is so important. In a study using massive archival datasets, my collaborators and I found that regional variance in implicit racial bias predicts local disparities in police traffic stops (Ekstrom, Le Forestier, & Lai, 2022). In another, my collaborators and I documented a weight-based achievement gap in postsecondary education and found that it was at least partially attributable to identity threats higher-weight students experience on college and university campuses (Logel, Le Forestier, et al., 2021; see also Walton, Murphy, Logel, Yeager... Le Forestier, et al., 2023).Findings such as these bring the urgent need for scalable prejudice reduction into focus. In one ongoing project, I have developed an immersive and scalable intergroup contact intervention that takes place over social media. Preliminary results include behavioral outcomes up to a month post-intervention.In several other lines of work, I am conducting research contests to distinguish between plausible alternatives and find the best possible interventions to improve intergroup relations. This includes an investigation of the best methods to reduce ideological prejudice and improve cooperation across ideological lines and an investigation of whether the efficacy of several implicit bias interventions depends on how implicit bias is measured.

*Indicates mentored undergraduate
Indicates equal contribution
Frequent collaborators are listed here

Journal Articles: Published or In press

Le Forestier, J. M., Page-Gould, E., & Chasteen, A . L. (In press). Which identities are concealable? Individual differences in concealability. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 334. DOI: 10.1177/01461672231198162

Le Forestier, J. M., Page-Gould, E., & Chasteen, A . L. (2024). Identity concealment may discourage health-seeking behaviors: Evidence from sexual minority men during the 2022 global mpox outbreak. Psychological Science, 35, 126-136. DOI: 10.1177/09567976231217416

Le Forestier, J. M., *Chan, E. W., *Shephard, R., Page-Gould, E., & Chasteen, A . L. (2024). Why is concealment associated with health and wellbeing? An investigation of potential mechanisms. Social Science & Medicine, 344. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2023.116529

Walton, G. M., Murphy, M. C., Logel, C., Yeager, D. S., Parker Goyer, J., Brady, S. T., Emerson, K. T. U, Panesku, D., Fotuhi, O., Blodorn, A., Boucher, K. L., Carter, E., Gopalan, M., Henderson, A., Kroeper, K. M., Murdock-Perriera, L. A., Reeves, S. L., Ablorh, T. T., Ansari, S., Chen, S., Fisher, P., Galvan, M., Kawakami Gilbertson, M., Hulleman, C. S., Le Forestier, J. M., Lok, C., Mathias, K., Muragishi, G. A., Netter, M., Ozier, E., Smith, E. N., Thoman, D. B., Williams, H. E., Wilmot, M. O., Hartzog, C., Li, X. A., & Krol, N. (2023). Where and with whom does a brief social-belonging intervention promote
progress in college? Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.ade4420

Le Forestier, J. M., Page-Gould, E., & Chasteen, A . L. (2022). Concealment stigma: The social costs of concealing. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 101, 1-13. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2022.104340

Ekstrom, P., Le Forestier, J. M., & Lai, C. K. (2022). Racial demographics explain the link between racial disparities in traffic stops and county-level racial attitudes. Psychological Science, 33, 497-509 DOI: 10.1177/09567976211053573

Le Forestier, J. M., Page-Gould, E., Lai, C. K., & Chasteen, A. L. (2022). Subjective identity concealability and the consequences of fearing identity-based judgment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 48, 445-462. DOI: 10.1177/01461672211010038

Logel, C., Le Forestier, J. M., Witherspoon, E. B., & Fotuhi, O. (2021). A social-belonging intervention benefits higher-weight students' weight stability and academic achievement. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 12, 1048-1057. DOI: 10.1177/1948550620959236

Le Forestier, J. M., Page-Gould, E., Lai, C. K., & Chasteen, A. L. (2020). Concealability beliefs facilitate navigating intergroup contexts. European Journal of Social Psychology, 50, 1210-1226. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.2681

Journal Articles: Under Review or Revision

Le Forestier, J. M., Skaknoon-Sparling, S., Page-Gould, E., & Chasteen, A. L. (Revise and resubmit). Experiences of stigma among sexual minority men during the 2022 global mpox outbreak. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.

Le Forestier, J. M. & Lewis, N. A. (Revise and resubmit). When and why do people conceal their identities? The presentation of self in 21st century life. Nature Reviews Psychology.

*Khudiakova, V., Le Forestier, J. M., & Chasteen, A. L. (Revise and resubmit). To mask or not to mask: The role of concealability beliefs, concealment behaviors, and community connectedness in autistic people’s mental health. Neurodiversity.

Bartels, M., Le Forestier, J. M., Hug, A., Morgenroth, T., & Roselló-Peñaloza, M. (Under review). The effects of essentialist and social constructionist notions on perceptions of “realness” and LGBTIQ+ experiences.

Lai, C. K. & Le Forestier, J. (Under review). A comparative investigation of interventions to reduce anti-fat prejudice across five implicit measures.

Journal Articles: In Preparation

Le Forestier, J. M., Page-Gould, E., & Chasteen, A . L. (In prep). Prejudice reduction through intergroup contact on social media.

Le Forestier, J. M., Page-Gould, E., & Chasteen, A . L. (In prep). Statistical power for a set of tests.

Le Forestier, J. M. & Page-Gould, E. (In prep). Multiple-group contact: Implications for prejudice reduction.

SCORE Collaboration (In prep). Investigating the replicability of the social and behavioral sciences.

Book Chapters: Published

Chasteen, A. L., Schiralli, J. E., Le Forestier, J. M., & Erentzen, C. (2022). Age stereotypes and ageism as facets of subjective aging. In Y. Palgi, A. Shrira, & M, Diehl (Eds.), Subjective views of aging: Theory, research, and practice. New York, NY: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031- 11073-3_13

Chasteen, A. L., Bergstrom, V. N. Z., Schiralli, J. E., & Le Forestier, J. M. (2019). Age stereotypes. In D. Gu & M. E. Dupre (Eds.), Encyclopedia of gerontology and population aging. New York, NY: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_584-1

Book Chapters: In Preparation

Lewis, N. A. & Le Forestier, J. M. (In prep; invited submission). Research methods in DEI. In V. Esses, J. Dovidio, J. Jetten, D. Sekaquaptewa, & K. West (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Psychological Perspectives on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Validated Scale

Subjective Identity Concealability Scale

An eight-item measure developped and validated in Le Forestier, Page-Gould, Lai, & Chasteen (2022) to assess individual differences in participants' beliefs in the concealability of their own identities.

Other Measurement Tools

Initiation of Intergroup Contact Items

A seven-item measure originally used in Le Forestier, Page-Gould, Lai, & Chasteen (2020) to assess participants' proclivity to initiate contact with outgroup members.

Situational Avoidance Items

A three-item measure originally used in Le Forestier, Page-Gould, Lai, & Chasteen (2022) to assess participants' proclivity to avoid otherwise-desirable activities on account holding of a specific identity.


Calculate statistical power to simultaneously detect a set of effects.

Pride Palettes

Color palettes based on Pride flags.

Toronto Covid-19 Data Visualizer

Explore factors that predict the prevalence of Covid-19 in Toronto's neighbourhoods.

Note: Covid-19 data are up-to-date as of August 2021.

Graduate School Applications

Applying to Graduate School

Interviewing for Graduate School

Research Skills

Open Science

Research Literacy


SimulPower is an R package for simulating simultaneous power for a set of statistical tests.SimulPower is a work-in-progress. The current version is Version 0.8.0, updated in July 2021. While you may feel free to use it, please also check back for updates in the future. If you have feedback, I'd love to hear it via email!

Installing and using SimulPower

Information for installing and using SimulPower can be found here.

Citing SimulPower

Le Forestier, J. M. (2020). SimulPower: Simultaneous power analysis for a set of statistical tests.

Pride Palettes

PridePalettes is an R package that provides you with Pride flag color schemes to use in your R plots. It also comes with pre-made Pride flags using ggplot2.

Installing Pride Palettes

Step 1:
Install the devtools package, which allows you to install packages from GitHub, if you don't have it installed already.
install.packages("devtools")Step 2:
Install PridePalettes.

Using Pride Palettes

Step 1:
Load the PridePalettes package.
library(PridePalettes)Step 2:
Make your graph!
The pride_palette function returns character vectors of HEX codes representing colors on the Pride flag of your choice, in the order they appear on the flag. So, supplying it to whatever arguments in your graph require a list of colors will color your graph like the flag. For example, the following code creates a bar chart using the colors from the Philadelphia People Of Color Pride Flag:library(ggplot2)means <- c(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
groups <- c("1", "2", "3", "4", "5", "6", "7", "8")
data <- data.frame(means, groups)
ggplot(data = data, mapping = aes(x = groups, y = means)) +
geom\_col(aes(fill = groups)) +
scale\_fill\_manual(values = pride\_palette("philly\_poc\_pride"))
PridePalettes also includes the flag function, which generates pre-made Pride flags using ggplot2. For example, the following code generates the Trans Pride Flag:flag("trans_pride")For additional guidance and a full list of available palettes, refer to each function's help page:?pride\_palette

Color Blind-Friendly Pride Palettes

While PridePalettes is primarily intended for use as a novelty, anyone who uses it for data visualization they intend to share with others should be mindful that not all Pride flags translate into in color blind-friendly palettes. However, some do! Those using Pride Palettes for data visualization are encouraged to choose from the following list of flags that are color blind-friendly for three of the most common forms of color blindness (i.e., protanopia, deuteranopia, and tritanopia).

  • Agender Pride Flag

  • Aromantic Pride Flag

  • Asexual Pride Flag

  • Genderqueer Pride Flag

  • Nonbinary Pride Flag

  • Pansexual Pride Flag

  • Trans Pride Flag


Neil Lewis Jr.

Cornell University

Elizabeth Page-Gould

University of Toronto

Alison Chasteen

University of Toronto

Calvin Lai

Washington University in St. Louis

Rebecca Neel

University of Toronto

Christine Logel

University of Waterloo

Bethany Lassetter

New York University

Shayna Skakoon-Sparling

University of Guelph

Paolo Palma

Toronto Metropolitan University

Pierce Ekstrom

University of Nebraska

Sabrina Thai

Brock University

Jacklyn Koyama

University of Toronto

Zi Ting (Louisa) You

University of Toronto

Shernell Hines

University of Toronto