I study how people initiate, develop, and maintain close relationships, including friendships and romantic relationships. Three overarching sets of questions guide my research: (1) How do people’s offers and requests for support change as partners develop close relationships? How does their understanding of the relational meaning of offering and requesting support change across the lifespan (e.g., from childhood to adulthood)? (2) How do people react to partners’ signs of initial interest or disinterest in a relationship? What are the implications of these reactions for their relationships? (3) How do unique features of the relationship context shape partners’ physiological, behavioral, and psychological responses to stressful situations in newly-formed relationships? I use diverse methodologies to investigate these questions, including developmental approaches, biological methods, field studies, experimental designs, and longitudinal and daily-report studies. I also teach courses in the psychology of close relationships, social psychology, and introduction to psychology.
- Close Relationships
- Communication, Language
- Emotion, Mood, Affect
- Health Psychology
- Interpersonal Processes
- Personality, Individual Differences
- Beck, L. A., & Clark, M. S. (2010). Looking a gift horse in the mouth as a defense against increasing intimacy. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 676-679.
- Beck, L. A., & Clark, M. S. (2010). What constitutes a healthy communal marriage and why relationship stage matters. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 2(4), 299-315.
- Beck, L. A., & Clark, M. S. (2009). Choosing to enter or avoid diagnostic social situations. Psychological Science, 20(9), 1175-1181.
- Beck, L. A., & Clark, M. S. (2009). Offering more support than we seek. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 267-270.
- Beck, L. A., Clark, M. S., & Olson, K. R. (2017). When do we offer more support than we seek? A behavioral replication and developmental extension. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 34(5), 662-675.
- Beck, L. A., Pietromonaco, P. R., DeBuse, C. J., Powers, S. I., & Sayer, A. G. (2013). Spouses’ attachment pairings predict neuroendocrine, behavioral, and psychological responses to marital conflict. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105(3), 388-424.
- Beck, L. A., Pietromonaco, P. R., DeVito, C. C., Powers, S. I., & Boyle, A. M. (2014). Congruence between spouses’ perceptions and observers’ ratings of responsiveness: The role of attachment avoidance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40(2), 164-174.
- Ketay, S., & Beck, L. A. (2017). Attachment predicts cortisol response and closeness in dyadic social interaction. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 80, 114-121.
- Ketay, S., Welker, K. M., Beck, L. A., Thorson, K. W., & Slatcher, R. B. (2018). Social anxiety, cortisol, and early-stage friendship. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407518774915
- Pietromonaco, P. R., & Beck, L. A. (2018). Adult attachment and physical health. Current Opinion in Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2018.04.004
- Clark, M. S., & Beck, L. A. (2010). Initiating and evaluating close relationships: A task central to emerging adults. In F. Fincham & M. Cui (Eds.), Romantic relationships in emerging adulthood (pp. 190-212). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
- Clark, M. S., Beck, L. A., & Aragón, O. R. (in press). Relationship initiation: Bridging the gap between initial attraction and well-functioning communal relationships. In B. Fiese, K. Deater-Deckard, M. Celano, E. Jouriles, & M. Whisman (Eds.), APA handbook of contemporary family psychology (Vol. 1): Foundations, methods, and contemporary issues across the lifespan. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Pietromonaco, P. R., & Beck, L. A. (2015). Attachment processes in adult romantic relationships. In M. Mikulincer, P. R. Shaver, J. A. Simpson, & J. F. Dovidio (Eds.), APA handbook of personality and social psychology (Vol. 3): Interpersonal relations (pp. 33-64). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Introduction to Psychology
- Psychology of Relationships
- Social Psychology
Lindsey A. Beck
120 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116-4624
- Phone: (617) 824-3508