Cultural Differences in Self-Perception & Self-Enhancement Bias
Broadly, Laura is interested in how culture and context shape one's personality and self-concept. Her research examines cultural differences in self-perception and self-enhancement bias among Asian Americans. More specifically, she examines how different processes such as cultural values, standards, and motivations to improve may influence the Asian self-concept. In the future, Laura hopes to examine how other factors such as ethnic identity strength, biculturalism, and acculturation shape self-perception processes.
In her dissertation, Laura used the Social Relations Model (Kenny, 1994; Kwan, John, Kenny, Bond, & Robins, 2004) to examine cultural differences in self-perception and self-enhancement bias between Asian American and non-Asian cultural groups. She found that, after a brief interaction with a group of mixed-ethnicity strangers, both Asian Americans and non-Asians saw themselves as the other group members saw them (i.e., not self-enhancing). This effect was not moderated by the perceiver or target's ethnicity.
Personality and Appearance
Laura's second line of research examines the expression and perception of personality based on one's physical appearance. Can personality be conveyed in what you wear or how you stand? Can others make accurate judgments about you solely on the basis of appearance? This research is currently in press in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.