Sabrina Thai

Assistant Professor, Ph.D. (Toronto)

Office: MCB 306
905 688 5550 x4112 

Social Psychology

  • social cognition
  • close relationships
  • social comparisons
  • experience sampling methods
  • motivated cognition

The ultimate goal of my research program is to understand how people think about themselves, their relationship partners, and their close relationships (e.g., romantic relationships, parent-child relationships, and friendships). In particular, I am interested in how people respond to social comparisons that occur in the context of close relationships and the consequences these comparisons have for their relationships. Does learning that you are doing worse than your partner have negative relationship consequences? Do people feel inspired or demoralized by examples of superior relationships? How does learning that your partner is doing worse than someone else affect your relationship?

Because these comparisons are a prevalent part of daily life, I take a multi-method approach that combines experimental, correlational, implicit, dyadic, and experience sampling methods. Consequently, I am also interested in developing new methods for studying psychological processes in daily life.

Thai, S., & Lockwood. P. (2015). Comparing You = Comparing Me:  Social comparisons of the expanded self.  Personality and Social Psychological Bulletin, 41, 989 – 1004.

Thai, S., Lockwood, P., Pinkus, R.T., & Chen, S. Y. (2016). Being better than you is better for us:  Attachment avoidance and social comparisons within romantic relationships.  Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 33, 493 – 514.

Thai, S., Lockwood, P., Zhu, R., Li, Y., & He, J. C. (in press). The family ties that protect: Expanded-self comparisons in parent-child relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Thai, S., & Page-Gould. E. (in press). ExperienceSampler: An open-source scaffold for building smartphone apps for experience sampling. Psychological Methods.