Dr Rebecca Pinkus

Dr Rebecca pinkus



My academic training took place in North America, where I received my B.Sc. Honours from the University of Western Ontario in 2000, and M.A. (2002) and PhD (2007) from the University of Toronto. I then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the State University of New York at Buffalo between 2007 and 2009, prior to moving to Australia in June 2009.

My research focuses on social cognition within the context of close relationships; in particular, I am interested in how individuals balance concerns about the self with concerns about the relationship. For example, I have been examining individuals’ reactions to everyday social comparisons to their romantic partner in terms of their self-evaluations, evaluations of their partner, evaluations of their relationship, and emotional responses. I am also investigating the strategies that individuals use to cope with comparison outcomes to determine whether they tend to use self-protective vs. relationship-maintenance coping strategies. My research examines person-level moderators of responses to comparisons (e.g., self-esteem, age) as well as situation-level moderators (e.g., comparison context). Insofar as social comparisons have relationship-relevant implications, examining these processes can lead to a better understanding of how individuals maintain satisfying romantic relationships.

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Areas of Research / Teaching Expertise

Social Comparison; Close Relationships; Self & Identity

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Awards and Recognition

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2007-2009

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship, 2002-2006

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Selected Publications

Book Chapters:
Lockwood, P., & Pinkus, R. T. (2007). The impact of social comparisons on motivation. In J. Shah & W. Gardner (Eds)., Handbook of motivation science (pp. 251-264). New York: Guilford Press.

Refereed Journal Articles:
Murray, S. L., Holmes, J. G., & Pinkus, R. T. (2010). A smart unconscious? Procedural origins of automatic partner attitudes in marriage. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 650-656.

Anusic, I., Schimmack, U., Pinkus, R. T., & Lockwood, P. (2009). The nature and structure of correlations among Big Five ratings: The halo-alpha-beta model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 1142-1156.

Murray, S. L., Leder, S., MacGregor, J. C. D., Holmes, J. G., Pinkus, R. T., & Harris, B. (2009). Becoming irreplaceable: How comparisons to the partner’s alternatives differentially affect low and high self-esteem people. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 1180-1191.

Murray, S. L., Holmes, J. G., Aloni, M., Pinkus, R. T., Derrick, J. L., & Leder, S. (2009). Commitment-insurance: Compensating for the autonomy costs of interdependence in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 256-278.

Park, L. E., & Pinkus, R. T. (2009). Interpersonal effects of appearance-based rejection sensitivity. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 602-612.

Pinkus, R. T., Lockwood, P., Schimmack, U., & Fournier, M. A. (2008). For better and for worse: Everyday social comparisons between romantic partners. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1180-1201.

MacDougall-Shackleton, S. A., Sherry, D. F., Clark, A. P., Pinkus, R., & Hernandez, A. M. (2003). Photoperiodic regulation of food-storing and hippocampus volume in black-capped chickadees, Poecile atricapillus. Animal Behaviour, 65, 805-812.

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