Student NameSamantha Zaw
Faculty Mentor NameMatt Baldwin
CollegeCollege of Liberal Arts and Sciences
MajorPsychology
Research InterestsTemporal comparisons, romantic relationships, identity formation
Academic AwardsInternational Baccalaureate Diploma - 2019; Florida Academic Scholars - 2019; UF Student Support Services Scholars - 2019; Emerging Scholars - 2019
OrganizationsMulticultural and Diversity Affairs Office of Admissions
Hobbies and InterestsPilates, Nature walks, Distance running, Reading

Why I got involved with research

Reading empirical journal articles had been a passion of mine for several years. The main factor that persuaded me to get involved with research was the desire to explore unanswered questions and to gain a better understanding of human nature. Conducting research will provide me with the opportunity to think critically and apply the information from classes to real-world situations.

Research Project

Exploring the link between Temporal Comparison and Self-Concept Clarity

Several experiments will be conducted to investigate the potential outcomes of people comparing their present to past and future-selves and how doing so affects self-concept clarity: the extent to which our self-beliefs are clear and consistently defined (Campbell, Trapnell, Heine, Katz, & Lavallee, 1996). In the basic paradigm, participants will compare themselves over time (e.g., their past to their present self) by either focusing on similarities or differences. Following each comparison, participants will rate their level of self-concept clarity. I am particularly interested in how the present self-clarity changes when the comparison is to the past or to the future self, and when the comparison is focused on similarities or differences. This is yet an unexplored idea in social psychological research.