Samantha Joel

Samantha Joel
The University of Western Ontario | UWO · Department of Psychology

About

48
Publications
46,218
Reads
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961
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2010 - August 2015
University of Toronto
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (48)
Article
Full-text available
The present research examined the subjective experience of deciding whether or not to end a romantic relationship. In Study 1, open-ended reasons for wanting to stay in a relationship versus leave were provided by three samples and categorized by trained coders, resulting in 27 distinct reasons for wanting to stay (e.g., emotional intimacy, investm...
Article
Full-text available
The anchoring effect has been replicated so extensively that it is generally thought to be ubiquitous. However, anchoring has primarily been tested in domains in which people are motivated to reach accurate conclusions rather than biased conclusions. Is the anchoring effect robust even when the anchors are threatening? In three studies, participant...
Article
Full-text available
Mate preferences often fail to correspond with actual mate choices (e.g., Eastwick & Finkel, 2008). The present research presents a novel mechanism for why this phenomenon occurs: people overestimate their willingness to reject unsuitable romantic partners. Across two studies, single individuals were given the opportunity to either accept or dec...
Article
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We review the emerging evidence suggesting that the largely separate research areas of romantic relationships and judgment and decision making (JDM) can usefully inform each other. First, we present evidence that decisions in more traditional JDM domains (e.g., consumerism, economics) share important features with romantic-relationship decisions, i...
Article
The dissolution of romantic relationships can be conceptualized in many ways, from a distressing event or a consequential life decision to a metric of a relationship's success. In the current review, we assess how relationship science has approached dissolution research over roughly the past 20 years. We identified 207 studies (from 195 papers) pub...
Article
Entering and establishing a long-term relationship is typically a gradual process, as dating partners acquire information about each other over weeks or months. In contrast, existing mate selection paradigms (e.g., lab experiments, speed-dating) typically examine single brief encounters with real or potential mates. In the current research, we used...
Article
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There are massive literatures on initial attraction and established relationships. But few studies capture early relationship development: the interstitial period in which people experience rising and falling romantic interest for partners who could—but often do not—become sexual or dating partners. In this study, 208 single participants reported o...
Article
There are two unresolved puzzles in the literature examining how people evaluate mates (i.e., prospective or current romantic/sexual partners). First, compatibility is theoretically crucial, but attempts to explain why certain perceivers are compatible with certain targets have revealed small effects. Second, features of partners (e.g., personality...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has extensively changed the state of psychological science from what research questions psychologists can ask to which methodologies psychologists can use to investigate them. In this article, we offer a perspective on how to optimize new research in the pandemic’s wake. Because this pandemic is inherently a social phenomenon—...
Article
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Dating is widely thought of as a test phase for romantic relationships, during which new romantic partners carefully evaluate each other for long-term fit. However, this cultural narrative assumes that people are well equipped to reject poorly suited partners. In this article, we argue that humans are biased toward pro-relationship decisions—decisi...
Preprint
Dating is widely thought of as a test phase for romantic relationships, during which new romantic partners carefully evaluate each other for long-term fit. However, this cultural narrative assumes that people are well-equipped to reject poorly suited partners. In this paper, we argue that humans are biased toward pro-relationship decisions: decisio...
Article
Why do some people maintain stable feelings of commitment toward their partners, whereas others’ feelings wax and wane from day to day? The current paper draws insight from decision conflict research suggesting that individuals torn between decision options are particularly susceptible to attitude change. In three samples, we validated a stay/leave...
Preprint
Why do some people maintain stable feelings of commitment toward their partners, whereas others’ feelings wax and wane from day to day? The current paper draws insight from decision conflict research suggesting that individuals torn between decision options are particularly susceptible to attitude change. In three samples, we validated a stay/leave...
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...
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...
Article
In this prospective longitudinal study, we examined whether and how lack of intimacy or meaningful connection to a romantic partner (i.e., low social reward) and concerns over negative evaluation by the partner (i.e., high social threat) each predict dissolution of a relationship as well as adjustment when a breakup occurs. Our results showed that...
Article
Consensual nonmonogamy (CNM) is an increasingly popular relationship option and a burgeoning topic within relationship science. However, retrospective designs have limited our ability to draw conclusions about the consequences of opening up a romantic relationship to other partners. In a longitudinal study, 233 individuals who were planning to enga...
Article
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When romantic partners sacrifice their own self-interest to benefit the relationship, the sacrificer or recipient may—for various reasons—be biased in how they perceive the costs that the sacrificer incurs. In Study 1, romantic couples ( N = 125) rated their own and their partner’s costs after a conversation about a sacrifice in the laboratory, fol...
Article
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The present research used longitudinal methods to test whether pursuing sex with an ex-partner hinders breakup recovery. Participants completed a month-long daily diary immediately following a breakup, as well as a two-month follow-up (Study 1). Daily analyses revealed positive associations between trying to have sex with an ex-partner and emotiona...
Article
Objective: Despite its simplicity, single-item measures of self-rated health have been associated with mortality independent of objective health conditions. However, little is known about the mechanisms potentially responsible for such associations. This study tested the association between self-rated heath and inflammatory markers as biological p...
Article
Full-text available
The decision to end a romantic relationship can have a life-changing impact on the partner as well as the self. Research on close relationships has thus far focused on self-interested reasons why people choose to stay in their relationship versus leave. However, a growing body of research on decision-making and prosociality shows that when people m...
Article
When avoidantly attached individuals are simultaneously high in attachment anxiety, they are inclined to experience strong internal conflicts between seeking and avoiding closeness. This research examined whether the extent to which closeness, assessed as the inclusion of other in the self (IOS), is associated with greater commitment varies within...
Preprint
The decision to end a romantic relationship can have a life-changing impact on the partner as well as the self. Research on close relationships has thus far focused on self-interested reasons why people choose to stay in their relationship versus leave. However, a growing body of research on decision-making and prosociality shows that when people m...
Article
Full-text available
Life satisfaction has been linked to lower cardiovascular disease mortality. However, much less is known about the biological mechanisms linking life satisfaction to physical health. In addition, the dyadic context of life satisfaction has not been considered despite increasing evidence that partners influence each other in health-relevant ways. Th...
Article
This article reports on an adversarial (but friendly) collaboration examining the issues that lie at the intersection of confidentiality and open-data practices. We describe the process we followed to share our data for a speed-dating article we recently published in Psychological Science (Joel, Eastwick, & Finkel, 2017) and provide a summary of th...
Article
Full-text available
Relationship quality has far-reaching consequences for health and well-being. To date, large-scale efforts to improve relationship quality have targeted established relationships. However, a novel approach would be to target relationships much earlier. Investment-based programs would intervene (on a voluntary basis) before partners become strongly...
Article
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Romantic pursuit decisions often require a person to risk one of the two errors: pursuing a romantic target when interest is not reciprocated (resulting in rejection) or failing to pursue a romantic target when interest is reciprocated (resulting in a missed romantic opportunity). In the present research, we examined how strongly people wish to avo...
Article
Full-text available
Matchmaking companies and theoretical perspectives on close relationships suggest that initial attraction is, to some extent, a product of two people’s self-reported traits and preferences. We used machine learning to test how well such measures predict people’s overall tendencies to romantically desire other people (actor variance) and to be desir...
Preprint
Romantic pursuit decisions often require a person to risk one of two errors: pursuing a romantic target when interest is not reciprocated (resulting in rejection), or failing to pursue a romantic target when interest is reciprocated (resulting in a missed romantic opportunity). In the present research, we examined how strongly people wish to avoid...
Preprint
Close relationships theoretical perspectives and matchmaking companies suggest that initial attraction is, to some extent, a product of two people’s self-reported traits and preferences. We used machine learning to test how well such measures predict people’s overall tendencies to romantically desire others (actor variance) and to be desired by oth...
Article
Theoretical perspectives on mating differentially emphasize whether (and why) romantic partner selection and maintenance processes derive from stable features of individuals (e.g., mate value, mate preferences, relationship aptitude) and their environments (e.g., social homogamy) rather than adventitious, dyad-specific, or unpredictable factors. Th...
Article
This research investigated whether people who fear being single have a more difficult time letting go of ex-partners following a romantic breakup. Data were collected in a cross-sectional study (N = 209, 64% women, Mage = 30 years old) as well as a one-month daily experience study of individuals who just went through a romantic breakup (N = 117, 44...
Article
Full-text available
The current research investigates how people make sexual decisions when romantic partners' sexual desires conflict, situations we refer to as sexual interdependence dilemmas. Across an experimental study, a retrospective recall study, and a 21-day daily experience study, we found that people who were motivated to meet their partner's sexual needs-t...
Article
Research on deontological versus utilitarian moral reasoning has been largely silent on how interpersonal experiences shape moral judgment. We hypothesized that both anxious and avoidant attachment would predict the propensity to make utilitarian versus deontological judgments, but via different pathways. In Studies 1 and 2, the link between anxiou...
Article
Recent research has explored the relationship between social hierarchy and empathic accuracy—the ability to accurately infer other people’s mental states. In the current research, we tested the hypothesis that, regardless of one’s personal level of status and power, simply believing that social inequality is natural and morally acceptable (e.g., en...
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We argue that attachment theory may provide a useful framework for understanding individuals’ reactions to social exclusion. Attachment theory suggests that social exclusion should prompt an individual to seek comfort from an accepting attachment figure. However, most experimental studies constrain individuals from seeking out an attachment figure...
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The present research demonstrates that fear of being single predicts settling for less in romantic relationships, even accounting for constructs typically examined in relationship research such as anxious attachment. Study 1 explored the content of people's thoughts about being single. Studies 2A and 2B involved the development and validation of th...
Article
Although separate literatures have emerged on effects of social threats (i.e., rejection and negative evaluation) and rewards (i.e., connection and intimacy) on the process of commitment to a romantic relationship, no research has examined the influence of both simultaneously. Using an attachment framework, we examined the relation of social threat...
Article
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Although theoretical perspectives on adult attachment forward relational ambivalence as a defining characteristic of at least some forms of insecurity, work demonstrating an ambivalent structure to the relational attitudes of insecure individuals has been rare. The current research examines the similarity and intensity of perceptions of social thre...
Article
Full-text available
Although a great deal of attention has been paid to the role of people's own investment in promoting relationship commitment, less research has considered the possible role of the partner's investments. An experiment (Study 1) and two combined daily experience and longitudinal studies (Studies 2 and 3) documented that perceived investments from one...
Article
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Relationship research typically treats feelings about current romantic partners as independent of any lingering attachment to past partners. In contrast, the current study tests for an inverse association between current relationship quality and attachment to ex-partners. A longitudinal study followed individuals in relationships at three points ov...
Article
OBJECTIVE: The present work examined whether conservatives and liberals differ in their anticipation of their own emotional reactions to negative events. METHODS: In two studies, participants imagined experiencing positive or negative outcomes in domains that do not directly concern politics. In Study 1, 190 American participants recruited online (...
Article
Full-text available
Although regret plays a central role in decision making, few studies have explored the nature of regret in close relationships. We hypothesized that anxiously attached individuals, who are hypersensitive to relationship threat and prone to ambivalence in close relationships, would be particularly likely to experience regret over relationship-relate...
Article
Full-text available
Anxious attachment predicts strong desires for intimacy and stability in romantic relationships, yet the relation between anxious attachment and romantic commitment is unclear. We propose that extant literature has failed to find a consistent relation because anxiously attached individuals experience conflicting pressures on commitment. Data from A...

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