Erin Hughes received the Ingeborg L. and O. Byron Ward Outstanding Thesis Award from Villanova University. The award is given to an MS student for a particularly excellent thesis and thesis project. Erin’s master’s thesis validated a new measure of self-expansion preferences and examined how differing motivation to self-expand between romantic couples impacted both individual and relational well-being.
Previous research examining self-expansion has typically combined self-expansion and arousal within the same activity. This paper determines that self-expansion, not arousal, drives the benefits of these activities on relationship and individual well-being.
Tomlinson, J. M., Hughes, E. K., Lewandowski, G. W., Aron, A., & Geyer, R. (2018). Do shared self-expanding activities have to be physically arousing? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Advance online publication.
This paper finds that low passion for a partner predicts reduced commitment -- unless you believe that diminished passion can be recovered.
Kathleen Carswell has begun a postdoctoral fellowship with Emily Impett at the University of Toronto. She will be researching romantic passion and desire.
Grace Larson has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship to work with Wilhelm Hofmann and Francesca Righetti at the University of Cologne. She will be researching how implicit partner evaluations are influenced by everyday behavior in romantic relationships, as well as how these evaluations affect partners' interactions with each other.
The paper examines potential costs to the self-concept of attachment avoidance. Avoidant individuals experience low self-concept clarity, in part because they do not receive self-verification from their romantic partners.
Emery, L. F., Gardner, W. L., Carswell, K. L., & Finkel, E. J. (in press). You can’t see the real me: Attachment avoidance, self-verification, and self-concept clarity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
This paper examines predictors of how people react when their partners change. People who feel confused about who they are tend to undermine their partner's changes, with downstream relationship quality implications.
Emery, L. F., Gardner, W. L., Finkel, E. J., & Carswell, K. L. (in press). “You’ve changed”: Low self-concept clarity predicts lack of support for partner change. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
This paper reviews the I3 Model, a metatheoretical approach to predicting how likely a given behavior is to occur and the intensity of that behavior. This model provides an organizing approach to the existing literature on aggression.
Finkel, E. J., & Hall, A. N. (2017). The I3 Model: A metatheoretical framework for understanding aggression. Current Opinion in Psychology.
Eli Finkel and colleagues received the Daniel M. Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). The award recognizes the paper or chapter published within the past year that has been "judged to provide the most innovative theoretical contribution to social/personality psychology." They received the award for their paper on Transactive Goal Dynamics, a theory investigating how close relationships influence goal success.
Andrew Hall received a Graduate Travel Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). He presented a poster at the annual SPSP convention on the mechanisms underlying the link between lay theories of willpower and goal success.
The paper reviews the relationship science literature and distills 14 core principles, which address the questions: (a) What is a relationship? (b) How do relationships operate? (c) What tendencies do people bring to their relationships? (d) How does the context affect relationships?
Finkel, E. J., Simpson, J. A., & Eastwick, P. W. (2017). The psychology of close relationships: Fourteen core principles. Annual Review of Psychology, 68, 383-411.
This paper examines the circumstances under which low relationship power can lead to aggression. Aggressive responses emerge only when situational power is low, and only for men.
Overall, N. C., Hammond, M. D., McNulty, J. K., & Finkel, E. J. (in press). Power shapes interpersonal behavior: Low relationship power predicts men's aggressive responses to low situational power. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Eli Finkel and lab album Paul Eastwick's work on speed-dating was covered in this animated infographic:
Kathleen Carswell will be a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, affiliated with the Center for Family Enterprise, in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Congrats!
This paper leverages speed-dating procedures and a dating app experiment to examine the effects of an individuals’ postural expansiveness on others’ romantic attraction to him or her. Men and women with expansive postures are more desired.
Vacharkulksemsuk, V., Reit, E., Khambatta, P., Eastwick, P. W., Finkel, E. J., & Carney, D. R. (in press). Dominant, open nonverbal displays are attractive at zero acquaintance. Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences.
This award recognizes a scholar in relationship science who has received a PhD within the past 8 years.
This paper examines how power influences people's likelihood of pursuing their romantic partner's goals. People with low power in their relationships tended to pursue goals for their partner and to adopt their partner's goals as their own.
Laurin, K., Fitzsimons, G. M., Finkel, E. J., Carswell, K. L., vanDellen, M. R., Hofmann, W., Lambert, N. M., Eastwick, P. W., Fincham, F. D., & Brown, P. C. (in press). Power and the pursuit of a partner’s goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
This paper examines how the needs that people look to their marriages to fulfill have changed over time and argues that these changes have affected people's satisfaction with their marriages. On average, people may be less satisfied with their marriages than in previous eras, but the best marriages today are more fulfilling than were those in earlier times.
Finkel, E. J., Cheung, E. O., Emery, L. F., Carswell, K. L., & Larson, G. M. (2015). The suffocation model: Why marriage in America is becoming an all-or-nothing institution. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24, 238-244.
Kathleen Carswell has received a graduate research grant for her dissertation research, which will examine passion in romantic relationships.