Strength of Attitudes, Thoughts, and Self-conceptions

Some attitudes, thoughts, attitudes, and self-conceptions have greater impact or are more durable than others. We study factors – generally metacognitive in nature – that predict this strength. One set of projects examine different ways of conceptualizing a “strong” self-concept, both at the level of specific self-views and self-evaluations (e.g., DeMarree et al., 2010; 2011) or at the level of the self-concept in general (i.e., self-concept clarity). Other projects examine the origins and consequences of metacognitive confidence across domains and the metacognitive experience of conflict in one’s evaluations (i.e., subjective ambivalence).


Newer projects are exploring the effects of mindfulness-related constructs, with a focus on decentering. We have been exploring how different decentering-related constructs (e.g., meta-awareness, observer perspective; Naragon-Gainey & DeMarree, in press; see also Bernstein et al., 2015), operate in diverse domains across social judgment and mental health. In the domain of mental health, we examine the role that decentering-related constructs play in breaking the link between people’s emotional state and their experience of psychological distress. In the domain of moral judgment, we examine how different decentering-related processes can magnify or attenuate people moral predispositions.