Hazel Rose Markus Professor in the Behavioral SciencesStanford
Hazel Rose Markus is a social psychologist who studies how an individual’s sense of self is shaped by culture, as well as how individuals influence the cultures they live in. Markus is renowned for introducing the concept of the “self-schema,” which is the mental representation of the self that an individual uses to organize their information and history, as well as to guide behavior. The conceptual representation of the self is not only crucial for understanding how it is constructed, but is also highly amenable to influence from its cultural surroundings. In her work, Markus elucidates the concept of “possible selves,” meaning the many ways we can envision ourselves being or acting differently, and how these ideas affect our behavior. She has said, “Decision making is also an arena where possible selves can have an influence. Many important decisions involve a process of imagining the self under various alternative outcomes.” Markus' work also compared American and Japanese college students, showing how the self-concept and self-esteem function in different ways due to culture. In 2012, Markus spoke at the Being Human conference in San Francisco.