+44 (0)20 7919 7896
+44 (0)20 7919 7873
Room 411 Whitehead Building,
Goldsmiths, University of London,
New Cross, SE14 6NW, UK
Social psychology and personality – “self” in interpersonal contexts: close relationships and motivation; personality and interpersonal processes; balancing personal and relational needs; well-being; applying above areas in areas such as in work or mentoring settings.
My primary research interests concern "self processes" in interpersonal settings. Specifically, how do close relationships (e.g., family, friends, romantic partners) and other types of close interpersonal interactions (e.g., with managers, co-workers, mentors) influence personal growth and motivate individuals to achieve their most important goals, dreams, and aspirations? And how do self-relevant phenomena influence such interaction processes? Across these lines of research, I examine processes with implications for both personal well-being (e.g., subjective well-being, psychological health, personal growth) and relational well-being (e.g., dyadic adjustment and satisfaction and positive working relationships).
My current research focuses on four areas:
1) Michelangelo Phenomenon: According to the sculptor Michelangelo, "ideal forms" slumber within blocks of marble; the sculptor's job is simply to chip away the excess stone in such a manner as to reveal the ideal form. Analogously, humans possess slumbering ideal forms – the ideal self to which each individual aspires. Comparable to blocks of stone, the ideal self often requires assistance in its efforts to emerge. This research examines the various ways in which close partners facilitate movement toward the ideal self, through examining different processes such as partner responsiveness, type of support provision, partner characteristics, and conflicting interests of the partners.
2) Influence of individual differences on interpersonal processes: How do individual differences (e.g., self-respect, self-esteem, self-concept clarity, attachment styles, self-regulatory styles, and narcissism) affect behaviour toward interaction partners, which ultimately influence others' ability/motivation to support and affirm one's important goal pursuits.
3) Maintaining an equilibrium between personal and relational concerns: In romantic relationships, it is often difficult to simultaneously gratify important needs in two of the most powerful and central sources of human concerns: personal and relational. It is inevitable that individuals will sometimes confront the choice between engaging in behaviours that promote personal well-being (e.g., working long hours, spending time with friends) versus relational well-being (e.g., spending time together, supporting partner’s career aspirations). How individuals resolve such personal-relational conflicts may have important implications for both personal and relational well-being. The personal-relational equilibrium model predicts that individuals are motivated to regulate their behavior to maintain equilibrium between the personal and relational domains.
4) Application of abover research in work, educational, mentoring, or health settings: Applying above research areas to interpersonal interactions in work settings (e.g., with managers and co-workers; examining work-life balance; well-being at work and home), educational or mentoring settings (e.g., how do mentors enhance or hinder motivation and self-regulation toward important goals and help individuals set the right kind of goals), and health settings (e.g., effects of social support on motivation and well-being, especially in helping individuals overcome bad habits or maintain healthy behaviors).
Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW, UK
Telephone: + 44 (0)20 7919 7171
Goldsmiths has charitable status