People and Research

Yaacov Trope

Professor of Psychology
Social & Cognition & Perception

yaacov.trope@nyu.edu | Meyer Room 782
212-998-3897 | CV | Personal Site

I am interested in the interrelations among cognition, motivation, and self-regulation in the social context. My research focuses on two sets of issues. The first is how people mentally transcend the "here and now." My research examines what enables people to go beyond their myopic concerns and see themselves in the future, through another person's eyes, in different societies and cultures, and in hypothetical and novel situations. There is marked variation in the breadth of people’s mental horizons, namely, in how distant in time, culture, and geography are the possibilities people envision, care about, and plan for. My research seeks to shed light on the psychological mechanisms that narrow or broaden people’s mental horizons. I laso explore the real life consequences of narrow vs. broad mental horizons for the way people relate to their social and natural environment.

The second set of issues concerns self-control. The question is when and how people fail to do what they want while possessing the knowledge, skill, and opportunity that are required to do what they want. How do we—individuals or groups—(sometimes) manage to act in line with our overriding goals when faced with tempting alternatives? This research investigates the conscious and unconscious mechanisms that serve to resolve conflicts between people's local, short-term concerns and their global, long-term concerns.

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