There's an old saying, "Don't judge a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes." The logic of this advice draws on a fundamental truth of human psychology: an individual's perceptions of the world, and thus their reactions to it, are influenced by their subjective perspective. This truth helps explain why different people can react differently to the same situation, and also why the same person can react differently at different points in time. If you've ever looked back on a past relationship, business decision, or even fashion choice and wondered, "What was I thinking?!", you can appreciate the power of perspective.
Research in my lab investigates the mental processes underlying people's subjective perceptions of the world and of themselves. We seek to understand how these processes relate to cognition, emotion, and behavior; and to identify how subjective perceptions might be manipulated in ways that help people achieve goals, maintain emotional well-being, improve decision-making, and foster interpersonal and intergroup harmony.
(*indicates student collaborator)
Libby, L.K., & Eibach, R.P. (in press). More than meets the eye: Visual mental imagery as a medium for social cognition. In D.E. Carlston (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Social Cognition. New York: Oxford University Press.
Libby, L.K., & Eibach, R.P. (2011). Visual perspective in mental imagery: A representational tool that functions in judgment, emotion, and self-insight. In M.P. Zanna and J.M. Olson (Eds.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 44, pp. 185 – 245). San Diego: Academic Press.
Valenti, G.*, Libby, L.K., Eibach, R.P. (2011). Looking back with regret: Visual perspective in memory images differentially affects regret for actions and inactions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 730 - 737.
Libby, L.K., Shaeffer, E.M.*, & Eibach, R.P. (2009). Seeing meaning in action: A bidirectional link between visual perspective and action identification level. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 138, 503-516.
Libby, L.K., Shaeffer, E.M.*, Eibach, R.P., & Slemmer, J.A. (2007). Picture yourself at the polls: Visual perspective in mental imagery affects self-perception and behavior. Psychological Science, 18, 199 – 203.
Libby, L.K., & Eibach, R.P. (2007). How the self affects and reflects the content and subjective experience of autobiographical memory. In C. Sedikides & S.J. Spencer (Eds.), The self (pp. 75 – 91). New York: Psychology Press.
Libby, L.K., Eibach, R.P., & Gilovich, T. (2005). Here’s looking at me: The effect of memory perspective on assessments of personal change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 50 – 62.
Eibach, R.P., Libby, L.K., & Gilovich, T. (2003). When change in the self is mistaken for change in the world. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 917 – 931.
Libby, L.K., & Eibach, R.P. (2002). Looking back in time: Self-concept change affects visual perspective in autobiographical memory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 167 – 179.
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