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Shaping Each Other: Self-Identity and Social Interaction

Talk by Daina Crafa, School of Culture and Society

2019.11.19 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

Date Tue 10 Dec
Time 11:00 13:00
Location IMC Meeting Room, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, Building 1483-312



Self-identity is commonly described as being simultaneously active and stable. On the one hand, most people have relatively stable beliefs and behaviors that define who we are. On the other hand, our identities are somewhat fluid and active such that, when we interact with other people, we are able to see their perspective and reinterpret ourselves in relation to them. Previously, differentiating between active and stable modalities of self-identity has been difficult to demonstrate in laboratory settings, because changes after a social interaction may be subtle or brief. A new self-concept scale (the Social Values Schema Scale, or SVS Scale) effectively parses and quantifies these subtleties. Through discussing a series of experiments that apply this scale to semi-naturalistic social interactions, this talk will describe ways that conversation changes how we see ourselves and the influence of culture and context on these changes. Since many psychiatric patient groups report difficulties socializing as well as feeling a loss of self-identity, this methodology may be useful for better understanding patient experiences and optimizing social interventions. Therefore, current evidence surrounding social deficits in psychiatric patient populations will also be discussed with an eye towards future directions.


About the speaker

Daina Crafa is Assistant Professor at the Interacting Minds Centre (IMC). Originally from the U.S., she completed her Master's degrees in Germany and the U.K. (Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience, Universität Osnabrück; Transcultural Mental Health, Queen Mary University of London) and her Ph.D. in Canada (Neuroscience, McGill University).

Daina's research investigates how the social world shapes typical human behaviors, brain and (epi)genetic processes, and how these processes vary across cultural groups and among clinical populations. At the IMC, she will be studying social learning across cultures using various behavioral and neuroimaging techniques. She is particularly interested in individual differences attributable to social environment and context, life stage, and mental health status. She has previously studied healthy and patient populations in numerous countries, including Canada (Anglo and French populations), China, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Nepal, and the U.S. Many of her collaborators include anthropologists and philosophers who share her interests in mental health and human diversity.


Daina CrafaAssistant Professor, Neuroscientist