Key Research Interests and Expertise

One central line of research investigates a range of cognitive mechanisms that contribute to humans’ ability to engage in fluid and spontaneous social interaction. In particular, using experimental methods, I investigate how people are able to understand others’ perspectives, how they are able to anticipate what others are about to do, and how they shape their own behaviour to adapt to what others are thinking or doing. Beyond gaining an understanding of how these cognitive processes (e.g., perspective-taking, prediction, and imitation) contribute to smooth interactions, my research also explores what happens when these same processes fail and how such failures may give rise to social exclusion.

A further research interest concerns the effects of different processing styles on social perception and judgment. One can think about virtually anything (an object, person, or event) in different ways – in terms of its broad meaning and the impressions it evokes, or in terms of the details and features that constitute it. Different areas of psychology (face perception, construal level, cross-cultural differences) have focused on the distinction between ‘holistic’ and ‘analytic’ processing, but to what extent do parallel distinctions in different psychological domains actually share common architecture and mechanisms? In my work, I approach this question from two directions: first, by examining individual and group/cultural differences in holistic processing, and second, by investigating the link between different expressions of holistic processing (e.g., conceptual and visual) at an intra-individual level. The aim of this area of my research is to work towards a comprehensive model of holistic processing that will bring together its many interpretations across areas of psychology. 

ID: 101117103