Erica B Slotter

Erica B Slotter
Villanova University | Nova · Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

PhD

About

40
Publications
42,755
Reads
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1,800
Citations
Introduction
My research interests lie at the intersection of the self and social relationships. Broadly speaking, I am primarily interested in how we think about who we are as individuals in the context of close interpersonal bonds. Specifically, how do our self-perceptions change - or stay the same - as a function of the experiences we have and motivations we possess in our romantic relationships, friendships, familial relationships, and work relationships?
Additional affiliations
August 2011 - present
Villanova University
Education
September 2005 - June 2011
Northwestern University
Field of study
  • Social Psychology

Publications

Publications (40)
Article
Full-text available
Although sexual desire for one's partner is theorized to serve as a gut-level indicator of partner mate value that motivates investment in valued partners, there is scant empirical evidence to support this hypothesis. Five studies addressed this possibility, examining whether experiencing sexual desire encouraged the enactment of relationship-promo...
Article
Given the powerful implications of relationship quality for health and well-being, a central mission of relationship science is explaining why some romantic relationships thrive more than others. This large-scale project used machine learning (i.e., Random Forests) to 1) quantify the extent to which relationship quality is predictable and 2) identi...
Chapter
Full-text available
People’s selves are created, altered, and maintained both by their personal experiences in the world, but also through their experiences in close relationships. Thus, the way that people see and define who they are can be shaped and changed due to the relationships in which they find themselves. Although many different types of relationships can im...
Article
Full-text available
People’s self-concepts are subject to change through various processes, one of which is self-expansion. Self-expansion is a motivation to increase one’s self-concept through engaging in novel, exciting, and interesting activities or by taking on one’s partner’s qualities. Despite the plethora of research on self-expansion, there has not been much w...
Article
People alter their self-concepts by incorporating attributes of close others, such as desired romantic partners, into their own identity. The current research examined self-esteem as a moderator of this spontaneous self-expansion. Two studies tested the hypothesis that when presented with a prospective romantic partner, higher self-esteem people (H...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals experience numerous transitions across various roles during their lives. These role transitions can be disruptive to the way individuals view their identity, and thus their well-being; however, role transitions do not affect all individuals equally. Therefore, in the current work, we focused on two factors which may influence self-conce...
Chapter
Major transitions in people’s lives often disrupt people’s understanding of who they are. This chapter reviews how people’s social role transitions affect their self-concept clarity. We begin with an overview of these role transitions broadly defined, reviewing literature showing that both entering into a new social role and exiting a social role c...
Article
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Past research has established that loneliness is associated with both self-concept confusion and depression. The present work ties these disparate lines of research together by demonstrating that self-concept confusion mediates the relationship between loneliness and depression. Three studies, one cross-sectional and two longitudinal, supported thi...
Article
The present work investigated the interpersonal functions of facial mimicry after social exclusion. Specifically, we examined two distinct functions that facial mimicry may serve in promoting reconnection: facilitating the understanding of others’ emotions and/or fostering interpersonal rapport. Using a novel facial mimicry paradigm, we found that...
Article
Full-text available
People are generally motivated to increase the diversity of their self-concepts, within their relationships and outside of them. Self-expansion enhances both individual and relationship well-being; however, almost no research has investigated what circumstances attenuate people’s desire for self-expansion. The present research addressed this questi...
Article
Full-text available
People are generally motivated to increase the diversity of their self-concepts, within their relationships and outside of them. Self-expansion enhances both individual and relationship well-being; however, almost no research has investigated what circumstances attenuate people’s desire for self-expansion. The present research addressed this questi...
Article
Full-text available
Romantic partners often have to sacrifice their interests to benefit their partner or to maintain the relationship. In the present work, we investigated whether relative power within the relationship plays an important role in determining the extent to which partners are likely to sacrifice. Drawing from both classic theories and recent research on...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals' social relationships influence their self-concepts. Both dyadic and group relationships alter the self during the relationship, and dyadic relationships alter the self when they end. The current research investigated whether collective relationships would do the same across 3 studies. In Study 1, participants imagined losing or retaini...
Article
People have a fundamental need to belong that, when thwarted, can affect cognition and behavior in ways designed to regain social connection. Because one of the best predictors of social connection is similarity, the current investigation tests the self-malleability hypothesis, which predicts social exclusion encourages people to modify their self-...
Article
Full-text available
The present research sought to identify a novel factor that reduces the emotional impact of relationship dissolution. Specifically, we examined individuals’ use of redemptive narratives—a form of narrative focused on positive outcomes in negative situations—in post-dissolution journal entries written over the course of a 4-day diary study. An inter...
Article
Full-text available
After failure, individuals frequently turn to others for support. The current research examined the process through which individuals utilize interpersonal relationships to stabilize threatened self-views. We may seek support to reassure us with warmth and acceptance after a self-threat, or to provide support for threatened self-knowledge. We propo...
Article
Full-text available
Two distinct tensions can arise between individuals’ relational-fulfillment and personal-fulfillment needs in close relationships. The first tension is a conflict of potential behaviors and arises between serving the relationship by meeting one’s partner’s needs versus serving the self by meeting one’s\own needs (e.g., your versus my needs). The se...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals in ongoing romantic relationships incorporate attributes from their partner into their own self-concepts. However, little research has investigated what happens to these attributes should the relationship end. Across three studies, the present research sought to examine factors that predicted whether individuals retain or reject attribu...
Article
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Individuals who experience attachment avoidance tend to desire less closeness in their romantic relationships than others, especially when experiencing distress. However, emerging research suggests that avoidant individuals value social closeness and are more comfortable with it when they perceive that seeking closeness is welcomed. Thus, this rese...
Article
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Aggression pervades modern life. To understand the root causes of aggression, researchers have developed several methods to assess aggressive inclinations. The current article introduces a new behavioral method-the voodoo doll task (VDT)-that offers a reliable and valid trait and state measure of aggressive inclinations across settings and relation...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals sometimes alter their self-views to be more similar to otherstraditionally romantic partnersbecause they are motivated to do so. A common motivating force is the desire to affiliate with a partner. The current research examined whether a different motivationromantic jealousymight promote individuals to alter their self-views to be more...
Article
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Marital quality is a major contributor to happiness and health. Unfortunately, marital quality normatively declines over time. We tested whether a novel 21-min intervention designed to foster the reappraisal of marital conflicts could preserve marital quality in a sample of 120 couples enrolled in an intensive 2-year study. Half of the couples were...
Article
Full-text available
People generally strive to maintain positive views of themselves. Even in the face of negative feedback, individuals frequently protect the self-concept from incorporating negative information. Two studies examined a potential exception to that rule: whether and when romantic desire may motivate individuals to spontaneously adopt the negative attri...
Article
Full-text available
People generally strive to maintain positive views of themselves. Even in the face of negative feedback, individ-uals frequently protect the self-concept from incorporating negative information. Two studies examined a poten-tial exception to that rule: whether and when romantic desire may motivate individuals to spontaneously adopt the negative att...
Article
Full-text available
In romantic relationships, individuals take attributes of their romantic partner into their own self-concept, thus becoming increasingly similar to their partner. The current research tested the possibility that some individuals may take on the characteristics of their romantic partner to a greater extent. The Perceived Change in Relationships Scal...
Article
Full-text available
Deriving hypotheses from I³ theory (pronounced "I-cubed theory"), the authors conducted 4 studies to clarify the circumstances under which dispositional aggressiveness predicts intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration. Consistent with the hypothesis that this link would be stronger when inhibitory processes are weak rather than strong, Studies...
Article
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Temptation pervades modern social life, including the temptation to engage in infidelity. The present investigation examines one factor that may put individuals at a greater risk of being unfaithful to their partner: dispositional avoidant attachment style. The authors hypothesize that avoidantly attached people may be less resistant to temptations...
Article
Why do people behave aggressively toward romantic partners, and what can put the brakes on this aggression? Provocation robustly predicts aggression in both intimate and nonintimate relationships. Four methodologically diverse studies tested the hypothesis that provocation severity and relationship commitment interact to predict aggression toward o...
Article
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Individuals' selves are malleable in romantic relationships. Specifically, individuals integrate characteristics of partners into their self-concepts to further closeness/intimacy goals (Aron, 2003). Unfortunately, this malleability during relationships predicts self-concept change/ confusion if a relationship ends (Slotter, Gardner, & Finkel, 2010...
Article
Individuals' relationships often provide pathways to self-change. One pathway involves individuals using others to help them pursue important, self-relevant goals. Past research has demonstrated that individuals prefer existing friends who can help them pursue important goals. The current research expands upon these findings in two studies by demon...
Article
Full-text available
Interpersonal aggression is prevalent and disturbing. This chapter presents a metatheoretical perspective, I³ theory, that seeks (a) to impose theoretical coherence on the massive number of established risk factors for aggression and (b) to use the tools of statistical (and conceptual) moderation to gain new insights into the processes by which a p...
Article
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Wikis are informational websites which can be edited by any user. They are typically organized by content rather than chronology. Wiki technology has become extremely popular in recent years, generating websites such as Wikipedia.org. Despite their widespread popularity, Wikis are not frequently employed in the academic sphere. However, the use of...
Article
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Romantic relationships alter the selves of the individuals within them. Partners develop shared friends and activities and even overlapping self-concepts. This intertwining of selves may leave individuals' self-concepts vulnerable to change if the relationship ends. The current research examines several different types of self-concept change that c...
Article
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Five studies tested the hypothesis that self-regulatory failure is an important predictor of intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration. Study 1 participants were far more likely to experience a violent impulse during conflictual interaction with their romantic partner than they were to enact a violent behavior, suggesting that self-regulatory pr...
Article
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According to I3 Theory, individuals enact aggressive behaviors when (a) instigating triggers are severe, (b) impelling forces are strong, and/or (c) inhibiting forces are weak. Archer's analysis of human sex differences in aggression could be bolstered by a careful analysis of male-female discrepancies in reactivity (or exposure) to instigating tri...
Article
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Perceiving similarity between oneself and one's romantic partner benefits both the individual and the relationship and can arise from multiple pathways that draw either the partner closer to the self or the self closer to the partner. The current research focuses on the latter. The authors investigate novel circumstances under which the self-concep...
Article
Full-text available
Two studies investigated whether need fulfillment within relationships moderates the associations of attachment anxiety with relationship commitment and persistence. The authors hypothesized that individuals who experience low attachment anxiety would exhibit declining commitment and increased risk of breakup if their partner failed to meet their c...

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