Jamie Goldenberg, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at the University of South Florida. Dr. Goldenberg’s research focuses on psychological experiences associated with being a woman. To this end, she has conducted extensive research examining the causes and consequences of objectification of women.
One approach to these questions is to apply terror management theory, a theory that takes an existential perspective on human motivation. Her research suggests that people are motivated to deny mortality and any connection to animality (or creatureliness)—objectification of woman accomplishes this by turning women into literal (and immortal) objects. The focus on women’s appearance and consequent denial of personhood and internal attributes affects perceptions of women and can hinder their success, having implications for political progress, for instance, and also affects women’s self-perceptions, undermining self-concept clarity and congruences between the self and bodily experiences (e.g., explaining why women sometimes dress as if they are imperious to the cold).
Dr. Goldenberg has also applied the terror management perspective to health outcomes, developing the terror management health model; this line of research led to 10 years of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health. Recently, she and her graduate students have been interested in the consequences of social media on women’s health and well-being.