Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Nancy Collins

Nancy Collins

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  • SPN Mentor

I am interested in the social and cognitive mechanisms that shape close relationships in adulthood, and the impact that these relationships have on health and well-being across the lifespan.

My current research activities are focused on three main topics: (1) social perception processes in close relationships, with special emphasis on the ways in which working models of attachment shape how individuals construe their relationship experiences; (2) social support and caregiving processes in intimate relationships, with special emphasis on support-seeking and caregiving behavior in couples, and on the importance of caregiving for relationship security and stability, and (3) psychosocial predictors of health and well-being. I use a variety of research techniques in my lab including observational studies of interpersonal interaction, experimental studies, questionnaire methods, experience sampling (daily diary) methods, and neuroendocrine (hormonal) assessments. I also specialize in the use of advanced statistical methods for analyzing dyadic data (data from couples) and for studying response bias in self-report data.

Primary Interests:

  • Causal Attribution
  • Close Relationships
  • Health Psychology
  • Helping, Prosocial Behavior
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Life Satisfaction, Well-Being
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

Journal Articles:

  • Collins, N. L. (1996). Working models of attachment: Implications for explanation, emotion, and behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 810-832.
  • Collins, N. L., Cooper, M. L., Albino, A., & Allard, L. (2002). Psychosocial vulnerability from adolescence to adulthood: A prospective study of attachment style differences in relationship quality and partner choice. Journal of Personality, 70, 965-1008.
  • Collins, N. L., Dunkel-Schetter, C., Lobel, M., & Scrimshaw, S. (1993). Social support in pregnancy: Psychosocial correlates of birth outcomes and postpartum depression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 1243-1258.
  • Collins, N. L., & Feeney, B. C. (2004). Working models of attachment shape perceptions of social support: Evidence from experimental and observational studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 363-383.
  • Collins, N. L., & Feeney, B. C. (2000). A safe haven: Support-seeking and caregiving processes in intimate relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 1053-1073.
  • Collins, N. L., Ford, M. B., Guichard, A. C., & Allard, L. M. (2006). Working models of attachment and attribution processes in romantic relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 201-219.
  • Collins, N. L., & Miller, L. C. (1994). Self-disclosure and liking: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 116, 457-475.
  • Feeney, B. C., & Collins, N. L. (2001) Predictors of caregiving in adult Intimate relationships: An attachment theoretical perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 972-994.
  • Graham, J., & Collins, N. L. (1991). Controlling correlational bias via confirmatory factor analysis of multitrait-multimethod data. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 56, 501-513.
  • Murray, S. L., Holmes, J. G., & Collins, N. L. (2006). Optimizing assurance: The risk regulation system in relationships. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 641-666.

Other Publications:

  • Collins, N. L., & Feeney, B. C. (2004). An attachment theory perspective on closeness and intimacy: Normative processes and individual differences. In D. Mashek & A. Aron (Eds.), Handbook of Closeness and Intimacy (pp. 163-187). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Collins, N. L., Ford, M. B., Guichard, A. C., & Feeney, B. C. (2006). Responding to need in intimate relationships: Normative processes and individual differences. In M. Mikulincer & G. Goodman (Eds.), Dynamics of romantic love: Attachment, caregiving, and sex. New York: Guilford.
  • Collins, N. L., Guichard, A. C., Ford, M. B., & Feeney, B. C. (2004). Working models of attachment: New developments and emerging themes. In W. S. Rholes & J. A. Simpson (Eds.), Adult attachment: theory, research, and clinical implications (pp. 196-239). New York: Guilford.
  • Collins, N. L., & Read, S. J. (1994). Cognitive representations of adult attachment: The structure and function of working models. In K. Bartholomew & D. Perlman (Eds.) Advances in personal relationships, Vol. 5: Attachment processes in adulthood (pp. 53-90). London: Jessica Kingsley, Inc.

Nancy Collins
Department of Psychology
University of California
Santa Barbara, California 93106-9660
United States

  • Phone: (805) 893-3948
  • Fax: (805) 893-4303

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