It's the people in the lab that matter. Here are the team members who we couldn't conduct our research without.
Lab Director/Principle Investigator
Erica Slotter is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Villanova University. She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2011. Dr. Slotter’s work focuses on the social factors that influence identity. In particular, she examines how various social role transitions influence both the content and clarity of people’s self-concepts.
Dr. Patrick Markey is a frequent collaborator and member of the research team. Dr. Markey is a Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Villanova University and the Director of the Interpersonal Research Group. His areas of research focus on how behavioral tendencies develop and are expressed within a social environment and range from fairly mundane interpersonal behaviors (e.g., acting warmly during an interaction) to behaviors are real-life importance (e.g., aggression, homicide, 911 calls, divorce).
Gage Miller is in his second year in the Master's of Experimental Psychology program at Villanova. He plans to complete this thesis, focused on issues surrounding self-esteem and relationship initiation behaviors, in 2022.
Sara Glass plans to complete her Master's Thesis in December of 2021 and hopes to attend a Ph.D. program in social psychology in the future. She is generally interested in questions of spirituality and the self - how do our belief systems shape who we are?
Lab alumni typically continue to collaborate on projects with us even after they've moved on to bigger and better things. We currently have former team members all over the country. Below are some of our recent alums!
Peony Wong completed her combined B.A./M.S. degree at Villanova in August of 2021. Her research interests focus on the public social self. How do we display our identities to others, and what are the benefits and costs of doing so. Since graduating, Peony has begun a Research Manager position at CHOP in Philadelphia.
Cayla Milius completed her degree in Villanova's Experimental Psychology Master's Program in 2019. She graduated from George Mason University in 2016 with a BA in Psychology. Cayla's research interests include romantic relationships and their correlates to optimal well-being.
Dr. Courtney Walsh received her BA and MS in Psychology from Washington & Jefferson College and Villanova University, respectfully. Her Master's thesis was completed under the direction of Dr. Erica Slotter and investigated whether opportunities for self-expansion reduced the tendency to prefer potential romantic partners with similar attributes and hobbies as the self. She recently (August 2019) received her doctorate in Human Development and Family Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin (mentors: Dr. Lisa Neff and Dr. Marci Gleason) where she primarily studied the personal and relational benefits of sharing everyday, positive experiences with one's romantic partner.
Erin Hughes completed Villanova University’s Master’s of Science in Psychology program in May 2018. She received her BA in Psychology from Monmouth University. She recently moved to Evanston, IL to pursue her Ph.D. at Northwestern University. Her research interests include the interplay between the self-concept and romantic relationships, specifically how the self changes throughout a relationship and the subsequent outcomes
Katie Adams completed Villanova University’s Master’s of Science in Psychology program in May 2018. She received her B.A. in Psychology with Honors in Research from the University of Rochester. She recently began her Ph.D. at University of Kansas. Her research interests largely concentrate on individuals’ mating strategies and motivations for initiating romantic relationships and sexual behaviors. She is currently investigating dyadic compliments and relational mate value, as well as self-expansion within relationships.
Jessica Grom received her BA in Psychology and in International Politics (National Security Option) from The Pennsylvania State University and her MS in Psychology from Villanova University. Her Master’s thesis was completed under the direction of Dr. Erica Slotter and investigated whether self-control and attachment anxiety predicted IPV and displaced aggression. She is currently a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at Georgia State University (mentor: Dr. Dominic Parrott). Her current research interests include identifying risk and protective factors for alcohol-facilitated intimate partner violence.
Lydia is a graduate student at Northwestern University. She received her B.A. from Haverford College, where she majored in Psychology and English. Lydia volunteered in the Social Self Lab for several years during her time in the area. Before coming to Northwestern, she worked as a research coordinator at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Lydia’s research focuses on (a) the self and relationships, including how people's self-concepts shape their relationships and how couples understand their identity together, and (b) how socioeconomic status (SES) influences people's relationships
Deborah Ward received her BA in Liberal Arts (majors: Psychology and Russian Studies) from Muhlenberg College and her MS in Psychology from Villanova University. Her Master's thesis was completed under the direction of Dr. Erica Slotter and investigated whether self-compassion mitigates one's propensity to endorse weight-related stigma. She is currently a doctoral student in Social Psychology at the University at Buffalo (mentors: Dr. Lora Park and Dr. Mark Seery). Deborah's research interests broadly include: self-esteem and contingencies of self-worth, coping mechanisms, and motivation.