My research examines the influence of social media, attachment style, culture, and gender within romantic relationships.
How does social media influence romantic relationships? In particular, I have been investigating the ways that people use Facebook to keep tabs on current and former romantic partners. What predicts tendencies to engage in Facebook surveillance, and what are its consequences for well-being? I am also expanding this research to include other social media websites, such as Twitter and Instagram.
What personality traits and motives influence social media use? For example, do the Big Five, self-esteem, and narcissism influence what we choose to write about on Facebook? I am investigating the impact of rejection threat on the thoughts, feelings, and behaviour of anxiously-attached individuals. One stream of research examines the cognitive and self-regulatory impairment that may result from rejection threat; the other examines heightened adherence to traditional dating scripts that may, ironically, actually increase the likelihood of rejection.
I am investigating the influence of attachment security on the acculturation and adjustment of cultural newcomers to the United Kingdom. Through daily diary and experimental designs, my students and I are examining whether secure base priming may counteract the tendency of chronically anxious or avoidant migrants to reduce their involvement in the new host culture (the UK) and their maintenance of their heritage culture. I am interested in cultural differences in gender role traditionalism, and how these differences affect self-disclosure and intimacy in romantic relationships.
I am studying the Japanese indigenous concept of amae (expecting indulgence from a close other) – how it is expressed in romantic relationships, its association with attachment styles and with relationship satisfaction, and whether there are equivalent concepts in other cultures.