A major line of work in the lab focuses on the role of prosociality in relationship decisions. We have found that people tend to take their partner’s feelings and perspectives into consideration when making relationship decisions, potentially to their own detriment. For example, we have found that people will agree to dates with incompatible suitors to avoid hurting the suitors’ feelings.
Another major line of work in the lab centers around the idea of relationship decision conflict. What happens when a person has difficulty deciding whether or not they want to be with their current romantic partner? We are currently compiling and analyzing multiple studies on this topic, including a dataset with video interaction data and physiological measurements.
Cohabitation and Marriage
We are currently exploring a new dataset on two major relationship transitions: the decision to move in with a romantic partner for the first time, and the decision to get married. How do people make these decisions, and which decision strategies predict smoother transition experiences?
Another major investment decision we are currently exploring is the decision to merge finances with a romantic partner. What are the relational implications of combining finances with one’s partner, and how do couples fare when they choose to keep their finances separate?