The major theme of my research has been to explore asymmetries in self- vs. other-perception. I have primarily focused on the domain of disagreement, bias perceptions, and conflict development. In collaboration with Dr. Emily Pronin, my research has demonstrated that indivduals tend to impute more bias to those they disagree with, and those negative perceptions then fuel the development of a competitive and aggresive conflict-spiral. I am currently exploring interventions for such bias-perception conflict spirals. I am also exploring these effects in the context of negotiations.
My interest in self-other asymmetries has also led me to explore the effects of temporal distance on decision-making for the self. Specifically, my collaborators and I demonstrated that individuals tend to treat their future-selves more like an other (a total stranger) than their current-self. This difference seems to be the result of experiencing the subjective aspects of a decision differently when considering it for the present vs. the future.
Currently, in collaboration with Dr. Daniel Ames, I am exploring the asymmetry between how individuals would behave in a particular interpersonal conflict and how they would advise an other (a friend) to behave.
In another line of research, my interest in self-other differences has led me to study feedback providers and receivers. In work with Dr. Kent Harber, we demonstrated that White individuals providing feedback to a minority target may positively bias their feedback to avoid self-image threat and a feeling that they are not egalitarian. Currently, with collaborators at Columbia Business School, we are studying intergroup feedback at the organizational level.
© 2013 Kathleen A. Tomlin