My area of research is self-presentation and impression management - or
the process of conveying identities and images to others. Broadly, I am
interested in understanding what makes
people more or less successful at managing their social interactions.
My current research projects span several areas. I am interested in how
close others help or hinder people in social life. For example, with a
close friend present, do we perform better in important social
situations? Do close others allay our social fears
or worsen them? I've specifically examined how friends and partners may
help each other come across well to others by strategically altering
the way they describe each other to important audiences. Finally, I have
applied these areas to better understand those
who have difficulty with self-presentation – the socially anxious.
Friends’ assistance in social life may be crucial for socially anxious
people to enter into and navigate social life.
I have also examined how people deal with social situations in which
they interact with several people simultaneously who have different
preferences for or expectations of them. Called the "Multiple Audience
Problem," despite being something people often encounter,
the literature has not addressed how people manage such situations.
Therefore, my lab has begin to explore the strategies people use when
faced with the MAP.
Finally, many of my thesis students have explored research questions
related to self-presentation that go beyond my specific research areas.
For example, students have explored how people manage impressions of
being environmentally concerned, how mimicking
behaviors relate to self-presentation, and if people form negative
impressions of people with diabetes (Type I and/or II).