Professor Roy F Baumeister’s public lecture entitled 'What is the Self?'

Presented at Australian Catholic University on Monday 7 March 2016, 12.00pm–1.00pm


The self has been one of the most widely studied phenomena in psychology, yet there is no consensus about what it is, and indeed some scholars have boldly proposed that there is no such thing.

This talk argues the reality of the self as a social adaptation at the interface between the physical body and the social system. It reviews evidence that human groups function best on the basis of differentiated identities. The conclusion is that the self emerged not from the inner requirements of the brain or psyche but rather from the requirements of organised groups.

Professor Roy F Baumeister is one of the world’s most prolific and influential psychologists. He has published well over 500 scientific articles and more than 30 books. In 2013, he received the highest award given by the Association for Psychological Science, the William James Fellow Award, in recognition of his lifetime achievements. He is currently the Eppes Eminent Scholar and a Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, and he holds distinguished visiting professorships at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia and VU University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Watch Professor Baumeister's lecture


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