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Nickola Overall joined the School of Psychology in 2005, earning her PhD at the University of Canterbury that year. Nickola was awarded an Early Career Teaching Excellence Award in 2010. She teaches social psychology in undergraduate and postgraduate courses and supervises several Honours, Masters and PhD students each year. Nickola’s research has been funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand, Marsden Fund and Nickola serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and is Associate Editor for Personal Relationships.
My research focuses on close relationships. Intimate relationships can have immense benefits for psychological and physical health, such as when support from close others protects individuals from stressful events and helps them reach their personal goals. Intimate relationships can also undermine psychological and physical wellbeing, such as when people experience conflict in their relationship or face dissolution and divorce. My research explores both the benefits and costs of close relationships, with a particular emphasis on the relative success of different communication strategies used when couples are trying to resolve relationship problems or support each other. This includes identifying what strategies help couples maintain healthy relationships versus those that lead to dissatisfaction and relationship dissolution. I also examine how individual differences impact on relationship processes, such as how attachment security, rejection sensitivity, and sexist attitudes affect couples’ reactions to stressful personal and relationship events.
My primary methodological aim is to assess people’s relationship perceptions and behaviour as it matters in real-life. To achieve this, I combine various methodologies, including questionnaires, social interaction and daily diaries, behavioural observation, and longitudinal designs to track individual and relationship progress over time. I also employ a wide range of advanced statistical methods including Structural Equation Modelling and Multilevel Modelling techniques to analyse dyadic, diary and longitudinal data.
- Overall, N.C., Sibley, C.G., & Tan, R. (2011). The costs and benefits of sexism: Resistance to influence during relationship conflict interactions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 271–290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0022727
- Overall, N.C., Fletcher, G. J. O., & Simpson, J. A. (2010). Helping each other grow: Romantic partner support, self-improvement and relationship quality. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 1496-1513. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167210383045
- Overall, N.C., Fletcher, G. J. O., Simpson, J. A. , & Sibley, C.G. (2009). Regulating partners in intimate relationships: The costs and benefits of different communication strategies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 620-639. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0012961
- Overall, N.C., & Sibley, C.G. (2009). When rejection-sensitivity matters: Regulating dependence within daily interactions with family and friends. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 1057-1070. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167209336754
- Overall, N.C., Fletcher, G. J. O., & Simpson, J.A. (2006). Regulation processes in intimate relationships: The role of ideal standards. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 662-685. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.522
- Overall, N.C., Fletcher, G.J.O., & Friesen, M.D. (2003). Mapping the intimate relationship mind: Comparisons between three models of attachment representations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1479-1493. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167203251519
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