Avril Thorne UC Seal
Professor • Psychology Department • UCSC • Santa Cruz, CA • 95064
avril@ucsc.edu • 831.459.3613 • Fax:831.459.3519

Research area: Developmental and Personality Psychology

Avril Thorne studies the development of a sense of self and identity in the context of telling one's life to others, especially to family members and friends. She also studies the impact of family story telling on parents' and children's developing sense of self, and the narrative co-construction of personality, identity, and intimacy.

One ongoing project examines self-defining memories in adolescence and emerging adulthood, when the life story is beginning to blossom. We have found that memorable moments of telling such memories teach important lessons about what can and cannot be shared with others. Another project examines why parents tell and don't tell their youthful experiences to their children, and how constructing one's past to children informs parents' sense of self.

Avril Thorne serves on the steering committee of the Society for Personology, and has been Associate Editor of the Journal of Personality. She is a member of Society for Research on Adolescence, the Association for Research in Personality, and the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.


Narrative Research Group

The Narrative Research Group meets the second Friday of each month in room 237 Social Sciences 2, from 12:15 pm to 2:00 pm.  Anyone who is captivated by narratives that emerge in diaries, interviews,  or  conversations is welcome to participate.   Recent discussions have centered on how to quantify narratives  while preserving their integrity,  contextual influences on narratives,  bicultural and intergenerational  narratives, positioning and masculinity, and the plausibility of an authentic or “backstage” self.  Current members include Ted Sarbin, Cath Byrne, Avril Thorne, Neill Korobov, Vickie Nam, Denise Su, Moin Syed, Joel Gills, Elizabeth Morgan, and Steve Bearman.

Personality and the Study of Lives

This interdisciplinary group is interested in understanding the development of individual persons--as represented by traits, motives, behavioral trends, life stories, personal identities, or autobiographical memories--in particular social and cultural contexts. The group functions as a forum for the exchange of ideas and to faciliate collaborative research. Members include Per Gjerde, David Harrington, Avril Thorne, Margarita Azmitia, Mara Mather, Eileen Zurbriggen, and Dan Linger.






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