Associate ProfessorUniversity of California, Davis
Office: 102L Young Hall
My research interests lie within the areas of social identity, intergroup relations, the self, social cognition, and self-regulatory processes. Three specific lines of inquiry represent the bulk of my research program. One line of research is devoted to understanding the motivational processes that underlie social identification. More specifically, I have been interested in the motivations that may be served by memberships in social groups and how these motivations shape individuals' perceptions of themselves and other group members. The second line of research centers on the processes through which individuals maintain social inclusion and belonging. A quizzical finding in the rejection and social exclusion literature is that rejected individuals often respond to rejection by becoming hostile, angry, and anti-social--precisely the behaviors that are likely to lead to further ostracism and exclusion. Although a large body of work now demonstrates the maladaptive consequences of rejection, relatively little is known about the adaptive mechanisms that may exist to ensure social inclusion. The goal of my research in this area has been to help fill this gap in our knowledge. In a third line of work, I am studying the role that perceived entitativity--the extent to which social aggregates are seen as coherent units--plays in the judgments that perceivers make about groups and group members.