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Research in the Self and Motivation Lab focuses broadly on questions pertaining to the self, self-esteem, motivation, and interpersonal processes. In particular, we examine how aspects of the self, such as trait self-esteem, contingencies of self-worth, and rejection sensitivity interact with situational variables to shape intrapersonal and interpersonal outcomes.

In one line of research, we examine how threats to domains of contingent self-worth, such as experiencing failure, rejection, or feeling unattractive, affect people's goal pursuits and behavioral preferences. In a second line of work, we examine how sensitivity to appearance-based rejection affects people's mental and physical health and interpersonal outcomes. In a third line of work, we investigate how pursuit of attractiveness vs. competence goals differentially affect men and women's academic performance and intentions.

The overarching theme of our research program is to demonstrate that goals and motives, which are shaped by aspects of the person and the situation, have important implications for human behavior, performance, and well-being.

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