My research explores the psychological and social factors that give rise to the expansiveness of human knowledge. In particular, I study the processes that allow people to expand their mental horizons beyond the self and beyond here-and-now.
At a social level, I’m interested in how people go beyond the self to connect to, learn from, and work with diverse others. Here, I explore questions such as: What prompts people to consider distant and dissimilar others as potential interaction partners? When people do interact with those who are different from themselves, what do they learn? What are the social and cognitive tools that support large-scale social coordination? And how does our drive to coordinate with others shape individual self-regulation?
At an individual level, I’m interested in how people integrate across time and experience to learn from the past and plan for the future. This line of research touches on topics such as memory, prospection, generalization, and self-control.
In ongoing work, my collaborators and I are working on developing large scale interventions to apply basic psychological theory to real-world settings. Here, we are partnering with educational institutions across the country to understand how organizations and teachers can go beyond default perspectives and bridge group divides in the classroom. Our hope in doing so is to make educational settings more effective and inclusive for all students.