I am interested in how social identity is constructed and maintained while satisfying important psychological goals and motives. My research provides insights into broader issues of diversity by examining: 1) how multiple social identities simultaneously shape our cognition and emotion, and 2) the psychological processes underlying conflicts over symbolic representations of social identity.
Overall, I am interested in the way people process social information. Specifically, I am interested in message framing, and what happens to people’s attitudes when frames are encountered in a particular order. Additionally, I am interested in the impact of psychological distance on the way people construe the world around them.
I study framing and biases. In one line of research, I explore how easily people can switch from thinking about information framed one way (e.g., positively), to thinking about the same information framed another way (e.g., negatively). In other work, I investigate how the way people process valenced information adaptively changes as people age.
I study how people use abstract and concrete cognition. In one line of research, I examine contextual and individual differences in construal consistency and flexibility (e.g., thinking of the same object at versus across levels of abstraction); in another line of research, I explore the downstream consequences of these differences, particularly on how they might shape attitudes and person perception. In addition, I am interested in methodological issues—specifically, how quantifying tradeoffs in statistical errors can inform research practices.