Susan Andersen is Professor of Psychology at New York University. Her research interests span a number of areas in social psychology (social cognition), personality, and clinical; and her central research focus concerns the above question. Andersen’s primary line of research examines mental representations of significant others, their structure in memory in relation to the self, and the social-cognitive model of transference. The research combines idiographic (participant-sensitive) procedures with experimental designs to track the manner in which significant-other representations are activated and used in relation to new people. Among her other areas of her research focus are how internal thoughts, feelings wishes, and fears experienced but not necessarily expressed play a role in self definition; and how conceptions of future suffering play a role in depression and hopelessness.