Ljubica Chatman

The beginning of any meaningful action or communication is understanding. My job as a researcher in psychology is to take a leap into the unknown; I aim to ask and answer informed, subtle questions about the human condition. In a global collaborative effort, my colleagues and I chip away at the mysteries. Using experimental methods and statistical analyses, we transcend hunches, anecdotes and even theories in order to establish what’s true.

As a bicultural, I have an intimate understanding of how relative perceptions of reality can be. I’ve lived in contexts of socialism and capitalism, “developing” and “developed” countries, war and peace. In moving across these contexts, I have found the same people, with the same basic motives, played out through culturally specific means and views of what is real and valid. My research questions address how our memory and belief is shaped by one’s sense of control and how sharing new information through conversations with different people biases those very memories and beliefs. Further, given that many of our interactions have shifted into an online environment, I study how this changes the way that our minds work.

I can live in the moment, and most of those moments are spent combing through ideas and tasks related to my projects. When I do unplug, I spend time with close friends and family who keep me grounded. When I need to move, I enjoy the challenge and flow of playing capoeira.

I love travelling to far away, unfamiliar lands and learning as much as possible about what life feels like for the people there. In truth, I only know what people are willing to reveal to a friendly stranger. I owe my foreign language skills to this interest. My favorite forms of artful human expression are dance, film and theater, especially when they provide a window into the unfamiliar lives of others or a new perspective on what we take for granted.