My research examines the social psychology of romantic relationships with a focus on the confluence of the self and relationships. A majority of my work examines self-expansion, a motivation to enhance the self's capabilities through the accumulation of knowledge, experience, identity and other resources, largely through relationships. Thus, my research program examines self-expansion processes in several facets of relationships: attraction, relationship initiation, dating, love, relationship maintenance, infidelity, and break-up. Other relationship research focuses on how learning about someone’s personality influences perceptions of their physical attractiveness, the experience of personal growth and positive outcomes following relationship dissolution, including strategies to promote positive outcomes.
I also have a second major line of research focusing on self-processes. Specifically I have focused on the benefits of self-concept clarity, or how clearly and confidently one defines the self, on how accurately a person's knows their self. The main line of inquiry, however, explores the nature and benefits of self-expansion outside of relationships. These benefits include increased effort, increased self-efficacy, and increased job satisfaction and commitment.
- Close Relationships
- Emotion, Mood, Affect
- Interpersonal Processes
- Life Satisfaction, Well-Being
- Person Perception
- Research Methods, Assessment
- Self and Identity
Research Group or Laboratory:
- Relationship Science Laboratory
- Le, B., Loving, T. J., Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., Feinberg, E. G., Johnson, K. C., Fiorentino, R., & Ing, J. (2008). Missing a romantic partner: A prototype analysis. Personal Relationships, 15, 511-532.
- Lewandowski, G. W., Jr. (2009). Promoting positive emotions following relationship dissolution through writing. Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(1), 21-31.
- Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., & Ackerman, R. A. (2006).Something’s missing: Need fulfillment and self-expansion as predictors of susceptibility to infidelity. Journal of Social Psychology, 146(4), 389-403.
- Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., & Aron, A. (2004). Distinguishing arousal from novelty and challenge in initial romantic attraction between strangers. Social Behavior and Personality, 32(4), 361-372.
- Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., Aron, A., Bassis, S., & Kunak, J. (2006). Losing a self-expanding relationship: Implications for the self-concept. Personal Relationships, 13(3), 317-331.
- Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., Aron, A., & Gee, J. (2007). Personality goes a long way: The malleability of opposite-sex physical attractiveness. Personal Relationships, 14(4), 571-585.
- Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., & Bizzoco, N. (2007). Addition through subtraction: Growth following the dissolution of a low quality relationship. Journal of Positive Psychology, 2(1), 40-54.
- Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., Nardone, N., & Raines, A. J. (2010). The role of self-concept clarity in relationship quality. Self and Identity, 9, 416-433.
- Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., & Strohmetz, D. (2009). Actions can speak as loud as words: Measuring behavior in psychological science. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 3(6), 992-1002.
- Sizemore, O. J., & Lewandowski, G. W., Jr. (2011). Lesson learned: Using clinical examples for teaching research methods. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 10, 25-31.
- Sizemore, O. J., & Lewandowski, G. W., Jr. (2009). Learning might not equal liking: Research methods course changes knowledge but not attitudes. Teaching of Psychology, 36(2), 90-95.
- VanderDrift, L. E., Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., & Agnew, C. R. (2011). Reduced self-expansion in current romance and interest in relationship alternatives. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 28, 356-373.
- Aron, A., Norman, C., Aron, E. N., & Lewandowski, G. W., Jr. (2003). Shared participation in self-expanding activities: Positive effects on experienced marital quality. In P. Noller & J. Feeney (Eds.), Marital interaction (pp. 177-196). Cambridge University Press.
- Lewandowski, G. W., Jr. (2009). Study guide to accompany Gazzaniga, Heatherton, and Halpern’s Psychological Science (3rd ed.). W. W. Norton Publishers.
- Lewandowski, G. W., Jr. (2008). Stop trying to get tenure and start trying to enjoy yourself. InsideHigherEd.com.
- Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., & Le, B. (2009). Fun in relationships. In H. T. Reis & S. Sprecher (Eds.), Encyclopedia of human relationships. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.
- Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., & Strohmetz, D. B. (2009). The kids are all right: Overcoming a common obstacle to connecting with “today’s” students. InsideHigherEd.com.
- Advanced Laboratory in Intimate Relationships
- Advanced Laboratory in Social Psychology
- Experimental Psychology and Lab
- First Year Seminar: Psychology for (College) Life
- Intimate Relationships
- Introduction to Psychology (Honors & GenEd)
- Senior Seminar: The Self
- Senior Thesis in Psychology: Intimate Relationships
- Senior Thesis in Psychology: Social Psychology
- Social Psychology
Gary W. Lewandowski, Jr.
Department of Psychology
400 Cedar Avenue, Edison Science Building
West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764
- Phone: (732) 263-5476
- Fax: (732) 263-5159