Culture and Identity Lab
Welcome to the UGA Culture and Identity Lab. Our work seeks to better understand how human identity is shaped by culture.
Our work seeks to understand what shapes people's identity. Our research investigates how people think about their identity, changes to their identity, and how identity is different according to cultural context. Many of our studies involve a personality approach to understanding individual differences in identity. The overarching goal of our research is to illuminate what makes people who they are as dynamic complex individuals living across the world.
The End of History Illusion (EoHI) is the tendency to report that a greater amount of change occurred in the past than is predicted to occur in the future. We investigated if cultural differences exist in the magnitude of the EoHI for self-reported life satisfaction and personality traits. We found an effect of culture such that the difference between reported past and predicted future change was greater for U.S. Americans than Japanese, and that individual differences in two aspects of the self (self-esteem and self-concept clarity) mediated the link between culture and the magnitude of the EoHI. We also found a robust cultural difference in perceptions of past change; U.S. Americans tended to think about the past more negatively than their Japanese counterparts. These findings yield new insight onto the link between cultural context and the way people remember the past and imagine the future.