Professor of Psychology, University of Waterloo

BA (Wisconsin), MA, PhD (California, Los Angeles)

Recipient, 2017, University Professor (a title bestowed by the university to recognize “exceptional scholarly achievement and international pre-eminence,” currently held by 16 faculty members)

Recipient, 2015 Outstanding Performance Award

Recipient, 2015 Excellence in Research Award, Faculty of Arts

Recipient, 2007 Outstanding Performance Award

Research interests
My current research focuses on interpersonal interactions and close relationships—in particular, how relationship processes are shaped by personality dimensions and social contexts. For example, my collaborators and I have studied how dispositional self-esteem—-one’s overall feelings about oneself—-affects people’s willingness to reveal themselves to others through self-disclosure, how self-esteem and trait agreeableness interact to influence the negativity of one’s disclosures, and how self-esteem and agreeableness affect relationship quality.

Selected recent publications
Cortes, K. & Wood, J. V. (2019). How was your day? Conveying care, but under the radar, for people lower in trust. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 83, 11-22.

Cortes, K., & Wood, J. V., & Prince, J. (2019). Repairing one’s mood for the benefit of others: Agreeableness helps motivate low self-esteem people to feel better. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Advance online publication.

Wood J. V. (2018). Wood, Joanne V. In Zeigler-Hill V., Shackelford T. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham [this is an invited autobiographical entry]

Cortes, K. & Wood, J. V. (2018). Is it really “all in their heads”? How self-esteem predicts partner responsiveness. Journal of Personality.

Kille, D. R., Eibach, R. P., Wood, J. V., & Holmes, J. G. (2017). Who can't take a compliment? The role of construal level and self-esteem in accepting positive feedback from close others. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 68, 40-49.

McCarthy, M. H., Wood, J.V., & Holmes, J.G. (2017). Dispositional pathways to trust: Self-esteem and agreeableness interact to predict trust and negative emotional disclosure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 113, 95-116.

Wood, J. V. & Forest, A. L. (2016). Self-protective yet self-defeating: The paradox of low self-esteem people's self-disclosures. In J. M. Olson & M. P. Zanna (Eds.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 53, 131-181. Cambridge, MA: Academic Press.

Thagard, P., & Wood, J. V. (2015). Eighty phenomena about the self: Representation, evaluation, regulation, and change. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00334

Forest, A. L., Kille, D. R., Wood, J. V., & Stehouwer, L. R. (2015). Turbulent times, rocky relationships: Relational consequences of experiencing physical instability. Psychological Science, 26(8), 1261–1271.

Marigold, D., Cavallo, J., Holmes, J.G., & Wood, J.V. (2014). You can't always give what you want: The challenge of providing social support to low self-esteem individuals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107, 56-80.

Forest, A.L., Kille, D.R., Wood, J.V., & Holmes, J.G. (2014). Discount and disengage: How chronic negative expressivity undermines partner responsiveness to negative disclosures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 107, 1013-1032.


  • 1989–2019
    Professor, University of Waterloo


University Professor