My research is based in social-personality psychology and specifically on issues within close relationships and health-related behaviors. First, I study the interaction of individuals in close relationships (e.g., friendships, dating relationships, marriages), and how the actual and perceived goals of both partners influence patterns of interaction, strategies of conflict resolution, and relationship satisfaction. Second, I look at individuals’ accuracy in perceiving others’ attitudes and behaviors (e.g., in terms of eating and exercise, alcohol use, condom use), as well as how such perceptions (and misperceptions) influence one’s own attitudes and behaviors. For example, women see other women as thinner and as exercising more than they themselves do, and women who feel more discrepant from others show higher rates of eating disorders. Third, my research examines why individuals learn more when they receive personally-relevant or “matching” messages (e.g., videos, brochures, advertisements) about health related topics (e.g., eating disorders, condom use).
- Applied Social Psychology
- Close Relationships
- Health Psychology
- Personality, Individual Differences
- Persuasion, Social Influence
- Sanderson, C. A., Wallier, J. M., Stockdale, J. E., & Yopyk, D. J. (2008). Who feels discrepant and how does feeling discrepant matter? Examining the presence and consequences of feeling discrepant from personal and social norms related to thinness in American and British high school girls. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 27, 991-1016.
- Sanderson, C. A., Keiter, E. J., Miles, M. G., & Yopyk, D. J. A. (2007). The association between intimacy goals and plans for initiating dating relationships. Personal Relationships, 14, 225-243.
- Sanderson, C. A., & Yopyk, D. J. A. (2007). Improving condom use intentions and behavior by changing perceived partner norms: An evaluation of condom promotion videos for college students. Health Psychology, 26, 481-487.
- Sanderson, C. A., Rahm, K. B., & Beigbeder, S. A. (2005). The pursuit of intimacy goals in close friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 22, 75-98.
- Sanderson, C. A., & Holloway, R. M. (2003). Who benefits from what? Drive for thinness as a moderator of responsiveness to different eating disorders prevention messages. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33, 1837-1861.
- Mutterperl, J. A., & Sanderson, C. A. (2002). Mind over matter: Internalization of the thinness norm as a moderator of responsiveness to norm misperception education in college women. Health Psychology, 21.
- Sanderson, C. A., & Karetsky, K. H. (2002). Intimacy goals and strategies of conflict resolution in dating relationships: A mediational analysis. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 19, 323-343.
- Sanderson, C. A., & Cantor, N. (2001). The association of intimacy goals and marital satisfaction: A test of four mediational hypotheses. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 1567-1577.
- Sanderson, C. A., & Evans, S. M. (2001). Seeing one's partner through intimacy-colored glasses: An examination of the processes underlying the intimacy goals-relationship satisfaction link. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 463-473.
- Sanderson, C. A., Darley, J. M., & Messinger, C. S. (2001). "I’m not as thin as you think I am": The development and consequences of feeling discrepant from the thinness norm. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 461-471.
- Sanderson, C. A. (1999). Role of relationship context in influencing college students' responsiveness to HIV prevention videos. Health Psychology, 18, 295-300.
- Sanderson, C. A., & Cantor, N. (1997). Creating satisfaction in steady dating relationships: The role of personal goals and situational affordances. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 1424-1433.
- Sanderson, C. A., & Cantor, N. (1995). Social dating goals in late adolescence: Implications for safer sexual activity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 1121-1134.
- Sanderson, C. A., & Cantor, N. (1999). A life task perspective on personality coherence: Stability versus change in tasks, goals, strategies, and outcomes. In D. Cervone & Y. Shoda (Eds.), The coherence of personality: Social-cognitive bases of consistency, variability, and organization (pp. 372-392). New York: Guilford Press.
- Sanderson, C. A. (2004). The link between intimacy goals and satisfaction in close relationships: An examination of the underlying processes. In D. Mashek & A. Aron (Eds.), The Handbook of Closeness and Intimacy (pp. 247-266). New York: Erlbaum.
Catherine A. Sanderson
Department of Psychology
Amherst, MA 01002
- Phone: (413) 542-2438
- Fax: (413) 542-2145