In collaboration with several research teams, my research investigates close relationships and interpersonal processes from different theoretical models and perspectives. Our current work focuses within six areas: attachment processes, human mating and decision-making, empathic accuracy, social influence in romantic relationships, social development and health outcomes, and social development and parental investment.

Our longstanding program of research on adult attachment, funded by NIMH, examines how attachment processes and adult attachment orientations are associated with relationship functioning and well-being, particularly when partners are distressed. Our program of work on human mating, funded by NSF, examines how individuals make mating decisions, the conditions under which they do and do not delay gratification, and how they make trade-offs on different life history-relevant dimensions. Our research on empathic accuracy, funded by NSF, explores the conditions under which people are accurate versus inaccurate at inferring their partners' private thoughts and feelings during social interactions. Our research on social influence examines when, how, and why individuals use different social influence tactics to persuade their partners and which tactics are most effective in different situational contexts. A recent program of research on social development and adult health, funded by the NIA, is investigating how social experiences encountered earlier in life are linked with physical health at mid-life. Our most recent new program of research, funded by NSF, examines how early life experiences along with interpersonal variables are prospectively related to parenting and co-parenting in adulthood.

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: , University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1986 - none
  • B.A.: , University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, 1981 - none

Specialties

  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Evolution and social behavior
  • Person by situation models
  • Social influence
  • Social development