About the Self and Social Perception Laboratory

In the SSPeL we explore the psychological dynamics underlying people's ability to project themselves through time and distinguish themselves from others. We focus on motivational and emotional challenges these capacities introduce, focusing on people's social comparisons, predictions of the future, and self-regulation. Particular attention is paid to personality processes that are involved.

The research in the SSPel employs various methods. These include carefully controlled experiments, naturalistic analyses of individual differences, and meta-analysis of previous empirical work. The basic tenet of the laboratory is that bridging social and personality perspectives through appreciation of both situational forces and individual differences, together with the utilization of multi-method approaches, is most likely to yield meaningful insights into the human nature.

  

News!

Synthesizer 1.0: A Varying-Coefficient Meta-Analytic Tool


We have developed a user-friendly tool for employing a newly developed meta-analytic approach. This new approach employs unbiased fixed-effect estimators that overcome some of the problems with traditional fixed- and random-effects approaches (see Bonett, 2008).

This tool is free to researchers, and allows aggregation of both correlations and standardized mean differences, examination of moderating variables, and accurate estimation of values derived under conditions of statistical dependency.

Krizan, Z. (2010). Synthesizer 1.0: A varying coefficient meta-analytic tool. Behavior Research Methods, 42, 863-870.

  

Current Projects

What Makes Narcissists Angry?

Narcissistic individuals feel entitled and they view themselves as "special" relative to others. Clinical accounts and empirical research has identified narcissistic traits as predictors of inter-personal hostility and agression. However, most research has focused on grandiose aspects of narcissism, and little is known about how narcissistic vulnerability may lead to anger, hostility, and agression.

In an ongoing series of studies, we are testing which narcissistic features are the most potent predictors of agression, and examining emotional processes responsible for these relations.

  

The Pain of Social Disadvantage

All of us have experienced disadvantage. There is always someone taller, smarter, or more attractive than us. Although sometimes these disadvatages may yield only fleeting feelings of frustration, other times they may transform into potent feelings of envy, inferiority, and resentment.

In this vein, we are currently examining when and why comparisons with superior others yield envious inferiority and hostility, what personality factors shape this process, and how political ideology may impact envy .

  

Waning and Waxing of Hope

We spend most of our time thinking about the future. Whereas these thoughts are often "rosy", our sense of the future usually becomes more sober and pessimistic as the "moment of truth" approaches.

In several studies, we are examining temporal trajectories of expectations, together with social and personological factors that impinge on them. Our work so far has identified important differences between expectation trajectories for personal outcomes under one's control and trajectories for social outcomes (e.g., elections).

  

"Larks", "Owls", and Impulsivity

Are you a morning or an evening person? All of us experience daily fluctuations in energy and positive mood, but some people reach their peak earlier (morning people), and others later (evening people).

It turns out that evening people have more difficulties restraining their impulses, and current research in the lab is exminging exactly why evening people are more impulsive.

  

Emotion Perception and Regulation

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Our emotional lives are very important for our well-being. However, we do not understand our own emotions as much as we think. Although we may expect life's events to impact our emotions in a specific way, we are often wrong.

Research from our lab has been contrasting people's expectation and theories about their emotional lives to actual patterns of emotional change. Sometimes, we find, activities we are barely aware of can make us feel better!