Social Psychology Network

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Jeffry A. Simpson

Jeffry A. Simpson

Most of my research investigates close relationships and interpersonal processes. My current work focuses on five areas: attachment (e.g., how different adult attachment orientations impact relationships and relationship functioning, particularly when people are distressed); mating (e.g., how individuals make decisions to become involved with new romantic partners, what attributes they consider, how they make “trade-offs”); empathic accuracy (e.g., the circumstances under which people become more versus less accurate at inferring their romantic partners’ thoughts and feelings during social interactions); idealization (e.g., how people’s standards for ideal partners and ideal relationships affect the satisfaction and stability of their relationships); and relationships, social development, and health outcomes.

Recent Grants:

Attachment styles, stress, and close relationships (with W. Steven Rholes), National Institute of Mental Health, 1995-1999

Empathic accuracy and inaccuracy in relationships (with William Ickes), National Science Foundation, 1998-2002

Cognition in intimate interpersonal contexts: Toward an integration of social cognition and evolutionary psychology (with Garth J. O. Fletcher), Marsden Foundation, 1999-2002

Adult attachment, stress, and relationship well-being (with W. Steven Rholes), National Institute of Mental Health, 2002-2008

Interaction of current and childhood environment on risky decision-making: An experimental and longitudinal life-history theory approach (with Vladas Griskevicius & W. Andrew Collins), National Science Foundation, 2011-2014

Early life stress, developmental processes, and adult health (with W. Andrew Collins, Byron Egeland, Elizabeth Carlson, Michelle Englund, & Megan Gunnar), National Institute of Aging, 2011-2018

Caring for older parents: Determining the role of attachment security (with Gery Karantzas, Marita McCabe & Judith Feeney), Australian Research Council, 2016-2020

Developmental and interpersonal antecedents of emotion regulation (with Rachael E. Jones & Nickola C. Overall), Engdahl Family Research Fund, 2016-2018

Developmental and interpersonal antecedents of parenting orientations and behavior: A life history perspective (with Vladas Griskevicius & Ohad Szepsenwol), National Science Foundation, 2017-2021

Primary Interests:

  • Close Relationships
  • Evolution and Genetics
  • Health Psychology
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Nonverbal Behavior
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Research Methods, Assessment

Research Group or Laboratory:

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  • Fletcher, G. J. O., Simpson, J. A., Campbell, L., & Overall, N. C. (2013). The science of intimate relationships. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  • Simpson, J. A., & Dovidio, J. F. (Eds.) (2014). APA handbook of personality and social psychology: Vol. 3. Interpersonal relations. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Simpson, J. A., & Rholes, W. S. (Eds.) (2015). Attachment theory and research: New directions and emerging themes. New York: Guilford.

Journal Articles:

  • Beckes, L., Simpson, J. A., & Erickson, A. (2010). Of snakes and succor: Learning secure attachment associations with novel faces via negative stimulus pairings. Psychological Science, 21, 721-728. doi: 10.1177/0956797610368061
  • Cantú, S. M., Simpson, J. A., Griskevicius, V., Weisberg, Y. J., Durante, K. M., & Beal, D. (2014). Fertile and selectively flirty: Women's behavior toward men changes across the ovulatory cycle. Psychological Science, 25, 431-438. doi: 10.1177/0956797613508413
  • Gangestad, S. W., & Simpson, J. A. (2000). The evolution of human mating: Trade-offs and strategic pluralism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 23, 573-587.
  • Gangestad, S. W., Simpson, J. A., Cousins, A. J., Garver-Apgar, C. E., & Christensen, P. N. (2004). Women’s preferences for male behavioral displays change across the menstrual cycle. Psychological Science, 15, 203-207.
  • Howland, M., & Simpson, J. A. (2010). Getting in under the radar: A dyadic view of invisible support. Psychological Science, 21, 1878-1885. doi: 10.1177/0956797610388817
  • Overall, N. C., Simpson, J. A., & Struthers, H. (2013). Buffering attachment-related avoidance: Softening emotional and behavioral defenses during conflict discussions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104, 854-871. doi: 10.1037/a0031798
  • Puig, J., Englund, M. M., Simpson, J. A., & Collins, W. A. (2013). Predicting adult physical illness from infant attachment: A prospective longitudinal study. Health Psychology, 32, 409-417. doi: 10.1037/a0028889
  • Salvatore, J. E., Kuo, S. I., Steele, R. D., Simpson, J. A., & Collins, W. A. (2011). Recovering from conflict in romantic relationships: A developmental perspective. Psychological Science, 22, 376-383. doi: 10.1177/0956797610397055
  • Simpson, J. A. (2007). Psychological foundations of trust. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16, 264-268.
  • Simpson, J. A., Collins, W. A., Tran, S., & Haydon, K. C. (2007). Attachment and the experience and expression of emotions in adult romantic relationships: A developmental perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 355-367.
  • Simpson, J. A., Griskevicius, V., & Rothman, A. J. (2012). Consumer decisions in relationships. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 22, 304-314. doi: 10.1016/j.jcps.2011.09.007
  • Simpson, J. A., Oriña, M. M., & Ickes, W. (2003). When accuracy hurts, and when it helps: A test of the empathic accuracy model in marital interactions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 881-893.
  • Simpson, J. A., & Overall, N. C. (2014). Partner buffering of attachment insecurity. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23, 54-59. doi: 10.1177/0963721413510933
  • Simpson, J. A., Rholes, W. S., & Winterheld, H. A. (2010). Attachment working models twist memories of relationship events. Psychological Science, 21, 252-259. doi: 10.1177/ 0956797609357175
  • Tran, S., & Simpson, J. A. (2009). Pro-relationship maintenance behaviors: The joint roles of attachment and commitment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 685-698. doi: 10.1037/a0016418

Other Publications:

  • Simpson, J. A., & Belsky, J. (2008). Attachment theory within a modern evolutionary framework. In P. R. Shaver & J. Cassidy (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.

Courses Taught:

  • Close Relationships
  • Dyadic Data Analyses and Methods
  • Evolution and Social Behavior
  • Introduction to Personality Psychology
  • Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Theories of Social Psychology

Jeffry A. Simpson
Department of Psychology
University of Minnesota
75 East River Parkway
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455-0344
United States of America

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