Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Sandra Murray

Sandra Murray

The research being conducted in my laboratory examines motivated cognition in the context of close relationships. Specifically, my research examines how individuals in romantic relationships interpret and construct reality in ways that protect them from potential threats to commitment, such as the perception of a partner's faults, the risks inherent in depending on another, and the potential of rejection.

To understand these processes, my research examines four specific issues: (1) the existence and consequences of positive illusions in romantic relationships; (2) the structure of thoughts and mental representations that dispel doubt and foster relationship resilience; (3) how personal feelings of self-esteem influence the capacity to sustain satisfying close relationships; and (4) how the activation of belongingness needs, and consequent sensitivities to rejection, influence how people interpret and then respond to threatening events in their relationships.

Primary Interests:

  • Close Relationships
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition

Journal Articles:

  • Murray, S. L., Rose, P., Holmes, J. G., Podchaski, E., Derrick, J., Bellavia, G., & Griffin, D. (2005). Putting the partner within reach: A dyadic perspective on felt security in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 327-347.
  • Murray, S. L., Bellavia, G., Rose, P., & Griffin, D. (2003). Once hurt, twice hurtful: How perceived regard regulates daily marital interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 126-147.
  • Murray, S.L., Griffin, D. W., Rose, P., & Bellavia, G. (2003). Calibrating the sociometer: The relational contingencies of self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 63-84.
  • Murray, S. L., Rose, P., Bellavia, G., Holmes, J. G., & Kusche, A. (2002). When rejection stings: How self-esteem constrains relationship-enhancement processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 556-573.
  • Murray, S. L., Holmes, J. G., Griffin, D. W., Bellavia, G., & Rose, P. (2001). The mismeasure of love: How self-doubt contaminates relationship beliefs. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 423-436.
  • Murray, S. L., Holmes, J. G., Dolderman, D., & Griffin, D. W. (2000). What the motivated mind sees: Comparing friends' perspectives to married partners' views of each other. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 36, 600-620.
  • Murray, S. L., Holmes, J. G., & Griffin, D. W. (2000). Self-esteem and the quest for felt security: How perceived regard regulates attachment processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 478-498.
  • Murray, S. L. (1999). The quest for conviction: Motivated cognition in romantic relationships. Psychological Inquiry, 10, 23-34.
  • Murray, S. L., Holmes, J. G., MacDonald, G., & Ellsworth, P. C. (1998). Through the looking glass darkly? When self-doubt turns into relationship insecurities. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 1459-1480.
  • Murray, S. L., Holmes, J. G., & Griffin, D. W. (1996). The self-fulfilling nature of positive illusions in romantic relationships: Love is not blind, but prescient. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 1155-1180.
  • Murray, S. L., Holmes, J. G., & Griffin, D. W. (1996). The benefits of positive illusions: Idealization and the construction of satisfaction in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 70, 79-98.
  • Murray, S. L., & Holmes, J. G. (1993). Seeing virtues in faults: Negativity and the transformation of interpersonal narratives in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 707-722.

Courses Taught:

  • Advanced Social Psychology
  • Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Research Methods in Social Psychology
  • Social Cognition

Sandra Murray
Department of Psychology
University at Buffalo, Park Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-4110
United States

  • Phone: (716) 645-3650
  • Fax: (716) 645-3801

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