Current Graduate Students
I am interested in both the dark and light side of romantic relationships. On the dark side, what prevents people from self-disclosing and ultimately feeling disconnected from their relationship partner? On the light side, how do people provide adequate social support to their partner and help them overcome deep-seated fears of connection? Through understanding both the fears and facilitators of opening up, I hope to shed some light on how best to foster a sense of intimacy and connection in romantic relationships.
My research uses an attachment framework to study individual differences in identity formation, affect regulation, face perception and reward processing (e.g., feelings of social reward, attention to social cues). For instance, I am currently examining how attachment avoidance (discomfort with closeness) and community connectedness might influence the internalization of heterosexism. I am also interested in the way that specific causal explanations (e.g., biogenetic, psychosocial, social constructivist) influence the perception and evaluation of both social identities and social inequalities. For example, I plan to examine whether biogenetic etiologies of mental illness increase implicit mental health stigma.
My research interests focus on how people maintain their close relationships. I am interested in examining individual and interpersonal factors that influence people's experience of relationship challenges such as disillusionment, boredom or temptations of infidelity. I am also interested in people's biased perceptions and expectations during relationship initiation that may be linked to maladaptive outcomes over the long term.
Contact me at email@example.com
Jessica completed her PhD in 2017 and is now a Lecturer at the University of Auckland.
I am interested in examining attachment processes in romantic relationships, and factors that influence the accuracy of perceptions in relationships. My specific research interests include the influence of attachment on empathic accuracy, relationship expectancies, and social exclusion. I am also interested in implicit theories of relationships, and how they can be applied to the sexual domain.
Visit my website at jessmaxwell.com
Samantha completed her PhD in 2015 and is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario.
In my research, I study how people make decisions about their romantic relationships. For example, what sort of factors do people take into consideration when they try to decide whether to pursue a potential date, invest in a new relationship, or break up with a romantic partner? By studying how people navigate these relationship turning points, I hope to uncover useful decision strategies that will ultimately lead to better relationship wellbeing.
Stephanie completed her PhD in 2013 and is now an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University in Michigan.
I examine how insecurities promote maladaptive relational outcomes by exaggerating perceptions of threats and restraining perceptions of rewards. My research demonstrates that insecure individuals make many maladaptive relational choices based on threat avoidance motivations, such as the fear of rejection or the fear of being single. My research also suggests that the less examined motivating force of perceived opportunity for rewards, such as intimacy and close connection, is an important predictor of romantic decisions. Furthermore, I have been careful to examine the impact of these forces through the lens of relevant theoretical frames, especially attachment theory.
Affiliated Graduate Students
Independent Study Students