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The University of Southampton

Research Group: Centre for Research on Self and Identity (CRSI)

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The CRSI is committed to constructing, empirically testing, and revising social psychological and personality theory in the area of self and identity (broadly defined).

Group Overview

Research Priorities

At the individual level, we investigate theory surrounding the self-concept, self-esteem, self-evaluation, narcissism, self-related emotions (e.g., nostalgia), existentialism, and well-being. At the relational level, we examine how attachment experiences influence the way people view the self, others, and close relationships. We also examine social support and bereavement. At the collective level, we study the interplay between self-interest and group interest, and the discrepancy between person-to-person and group-to-group behaviour. We examine these issues from multiple perspectives: developmental, evolutionary, neurological.

Facilities and Equipment

In our observation laboratory, we have video recording equipment and a one-way mirror to view and recording of behaviours. Our psychophysiology laboratory contains equipment (BIOPAC) which allows researchers to measure participants’ physiological reactions to stimuli, including heart rate, respiration rate, and sweat production (indicators of autonomic arousal). The facial EMG sensors also allow researchers to measure participants’ minute facial reactions to stimulus materials. In addition, we have laboratories with computers to administer surveys and compute-based experiments


We have had grant support from several funding agencies, including British Academy, Economic and Social Research Council, Leverhulme Trust, Nuffield Foundation, and Templeton Foundation.

Collaboration and Partnership

We have collaborative bonds with colleagues from several European Union countries (e.g., Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, The Netherlands) and also from Canada, China, and the United States.


In several ways, our research has had import practical impact. We have contributed to the understanding of consumers’ emotional and relational reactions using emojis (Aiden Gregg). We have created new lie detection tools--Timed Antagonistic Response Alethiometer (TARA; Aiden Gregg). Finally we have examined how nostalgia may serve to palliate the symptoms of people with dementia (including Alzheimer’s) (Tim Wildschut & Constantine Sedikides).


Key Publications


Research Staff

Related Projects

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