Research Overview

Our lab conducts research from a person-by-situation perspective, focusing on close relationships and interpersonal processes from an evolutionary framework. Most of our work focuses on five areas:
  1. Attachment: how adult attachment orientations affect relationships and relationship functioning across the life span, particularly when people are distressed.
  2. Mating: how individuals decide to become involved with romantic partners, what attributes they consider, and how they make trade-off decisions.
  3. Empathic accuracy: the circumstances under which people are more versus less accurate at inferring their romantic partners’ thoughts and feelings during social interactions.
  4. Power and social influence: when, how, and why romantic partners attempt to influence each other, and the effects of power dynamics on relationship outcomes.
  5. Social development: how the quality of environments and relationships experienced earlier in life affect adult romantic relationships, parenting, and health outcomes.