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Multi-Storey Library

Research & Initiatives

Our Lab is dedicated to exploring the complexities of interpersonal relationships. Learn more about our research, how we do it, and the significance of our research.

What do we study in L&C Lab? 

Our research examines the idea  that relationships and conversations are complex - maybe more complex than we expect. For instance, our ongoing research examines:​

  • What are the consequences of hiding (versus revealing) news from others?

  • How do other people's accomplishments and downfalls make us feel about ourselves?

  • How does gaming alone versus in groups affect one's mental health?

  • How do conversations with our romantic partners impact our health?

  • What are the consequences of trash-talking and being trash-talked?

  • How do our siblings motivate us throughout adulthood?

How do we conduct research? 

When approaching a research question, we start with an open mind - in research jargon, we engage in inductive reasoning and conduct exploratory analyses. We may simply ask a few participants some open-ended questions, or ask a ton of participants a ton of close-ended questions so we can learn from our participants and develop hypotheses. Next, we test those hypotheses by conducting highly controlled experiments - generally in the laboratory (sometimes we even wear white lab coats so participants know we mean business). Finally, once we think we really understand a phenomenon, we take it back to the real world - see if we can find evidence for the same effect in a classroom, on Reddit, or during a Super Smash Bros. tournament. 

As a social-personality psychological laboratory, we hold three core beliefs. First, situations can draw behaviors out of people that those people would never expect of themselves. Second, people have relatively stable and predictable behavioral patterns in their day-to-day lives. And third, when a situation is weak, our personalities dominate - coloring the ways we see, think, and feel.

Why do we conduct this research?

They say that research is me-search, and that's definitely true here. We pursue research topics that are personal to our own human experiences. This is why we have such diverse research interests - we lead diverse lives! Although our research interests are driven by a desire to understand our own relationships and conversations, we hope other humans will find our research illuminating, too. We strive to make our research useful to society at large through public talks, professional presentations, publications, and more. Learn more below ^_^

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