Associate Professor of Psychology
Greene Hall 444
My research in close relationships has been concerned with the dynamics of social interaction. Most of the past research in the area of social interaction has been concerned with what stimulus characteristics make one person attractive to another. A more dynamic approach is to consider the process which underlie the mutual attraction of two people. I have conducted studies on verbal communication patterns and nonverbal interaction such as beliefs regarding commitment, jealousy, and conflict. While I am interested in close relationships in general, I am particularly interested in people who have been unable to form lasting attachments. These people are usually self-identified as being “lonely”. Some of my research on this topic has included work on their social networks, their problems with social skills, and self-defeating beliefs about social interaction. Research on people who have problems with social skills should be particularly relevant to students who have clinical interests.
Besides my research on close relationships, I have also done research in the area of attitudes toward the gifted child. This research has included issues such as self concepts of gifted boys and girls, stereotypes of the gifted, and factors that change attitudes toward the gifted.