Dr. Lile Jia
Assistant Professor of Psychology, National University of Singapore
Lile has broad research interests in social cognition, but is most fascinated by the interplay between various conscious and nonconscious goal pursuit processes. He believes that much of people's behavior is governed by their pursuit of multiple goals in life. Studying the cognitive and affective processes underlying goal pursuit, thus, can shed important light on human behavior.
For example, one main line of research he is involved in is concerns the notion that people have limited self-control resources necessary (e.g., persisting in face of difficulty, resisting temptations) to pursue important goals. According to this view, when people are low on these self-control resources, they are substantially handicapped in their capacity for self-control. How to combat the deleterious effect of low self-control resources, or ego depletion, has been a main focus of Lile's research. With his advisor and collaborators, he has explored the differences between depleted and non-depleted individuals in their perception and self-control processes. Identifying the unique experiences of people at various levels of resource availability has proven useful in revealing the processes of ego depletion and suggesting important ways to combat it.
Lile is also fascinated by people's responses to conflicts between short-term (i.e., temptations) and long-term goals. He is particularly interested in the processes that determine when people would forgo the short-term goal (e.g., pass on going to a partying) in favor of the long-term goal (e.g., academic achievement). As someone who readily succumb to temptations in life, Lile finds great satisfaction in taking his own self-control failures as case studies for generating research ideas.
Lile is also interested in other areas of research such as creativity, intergroup conflicts, self-handicapping, and attitudes, and he strives to conduct research that further underscore the importance of motivational processes in these different domains of social behavior.
When Lile is not doing research, he likes to read on arts and find ironies in life. He also likes to play a variety of card and board games. His non-psychology friends would always claim that Lile has an unfair advantage because he can "read" their minds. Lile, like many other psychology researchers, simply pretends that it is true and plays on.