Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Nickola Overall

Nickola Overall

  • Media Contact
  • SPN Mentor

Intimate relationships can have immense benefits, such as when support from close others protects individuals from the damaging effects of stressful events. Intimate relationships can also undermine psychological and physical wellbeing, such as when people experience conflict in their relationship or face dissolution and divorce. My research explores both the benefits and costs of close relationships, with a particular emphasis on the relative success of different communication strategies used when couples are trying to resolve relationship problems or support each other. This includes identifying what strategies help couples maintain healthy relationships versus those that lead to dissatisfaction and relationship dissolution. Other processes I am actively investigating involve how partners can buffer people’s insecurities, how different contexts influence the accuracy with which intimates understand their partners thoughts and feelings, and how attachment security and sexist attitudes shape personal and relationship wellbeing.

All of these topics have important implications for understanding how to help couples maintain healthy relationships. Accordingly, my primary methodological aim is to assess people’s relationship perceptions and behavior as it matters in real-life. To achieve this, I am principally using social interaction and daily diaries, behavioral observation, and longitudinal designs to track individual and relationship progress over time. I also employ a wide range of advanced statistical methods including Structural Equation Modelling and Multilevel Modelling techniques to analyze dyadic, diary and longitudinal data.

Primary Interests:

  • Close Relationships
  • Communication, Language
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Person Perception
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition

Journal Articles:

  • Overall, N.C., & Fletcher, G.J.O. (2010). Regulating partners in intimate relationships: Reflected appraisal processes in close relationships. Personal Relationships, 17, 433-456.
  • Overall, N.C., Fletcher, G.J.O., & Friesen, M.D. (2003). Mapping the intimate relationship mind: Comparisons between three models of attachment representations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1479-1493.
  • Overall, N.C., Fletcher, G. J. O., & Simpson, J. A. (2010). Helping each other grow: Romantic partner support, self-improvement and relationship quality. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 1496-1513.
  • Overall, N.C., Fletcher, G. J. O., & Simpson, J.A. (2006). Regulation processes in intimate relationships: The role of ideal standards. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 662-685.
  • Overall, N.C., Fletcher, G. J. O., Simpson, J. A. , & Sibley, C.G. (2009). Regulating partners in intimate relationships: The costs and benefits of different communication strategies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 620-639.
  • Overall, N.C., & Sibley, C.G. (2009). Attachment and dependence regulation within daily interactions with romantic partners. Personal Relationships, 16, 239-261.
  • Overall, N.C., & Sibley, C.G. (2009). When rejection-sensitivity matters: Regulating dependence within daily interactions with family and friends. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 1057-1070.
  • Overall, N.C., & Sibley, C.G. (2008). Attachment and attraction toward romantic partners versus relevant alternatives within daily interactions. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 1126-1137.
  • Overall, N.C., & Sibley, C.G. (2008). When accommodation matters: Situational dependency within daily interactions with romantic partners. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 95-104.
  • Overall, N.C., Sibley, C.G., & Tan, R. (2011). The costs and benefits of sexism: Resistance to influence during relationship conflict interactions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 271–290.
  • Overall, N.C., & Sibley, C.G., & Travaglia, L.K. (2010). Loyal but ignored: The benefits and costs of constructive communication behavior. Personal Relationships, 17, 127-148.

Courses Taught:

  • Advanced Topics in Social Psychology
  • Interpersonal Psychology and Close Relationships
  • Social Psychology and Interpersonal Processes

Nickola Overall
Department of Psychology
University of Auckland
HSB, 10 Symonds Street
Auckland 1142
New Zealand

  • Phone: +64 9 3737599, ext. 89120

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