The human sense of self is dual-faceted. It involves an experiential awareness of the present moment and a conceptual representation of the self as an entity that persists across time. William James’ (1890/1950) distinction between the I-self and the me-self exemplifies this notion of the self, and similar models shape the study of the self across diverse traditions of scholarship, from philosophy to neuroscience (e.g., Gallagher, 2000; LeDoux, 1996). The self is a central topic in social psychology, yet research in this tradition has tended to focus on either the experiential or conceptual facet, overlooking the distinction between the two. In my research I apply a dual-faceted understanding of the self to shed new light on the processes by which people represent and understand the social world. Findings also demonstrate how these processes can be harnessed in the service of achieving goals, maintaining well-being, improving decision-making, and fostering interpersonal and intergroup harmony.

My main program of research addresses these broad aims through the study of visual perspective in mental imagery. Additional lines of work extend this dual-faceted understanding of the self to gain insight into the mechanisms by which people understand others and form judgments and attitudes about the social world.

For more details on specific projects and publications, please visit my lab website.

Lisa K. Libby, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology

The Ohio State University

1835 Neil Ave.

Columbus, OH 43210