Dr Nickola Christine Overall


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Associate Professor


Nickola Overall is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology. Nickola's research examines how emotional, attachment and relationship difficulties can be overcome to build healthy relationships. See below for more information on her research and teaching.

Research | Current

Our relationships with others have a powerful impact on our psychological and physical wellbeing. Nickola's research focuses on how emotional, attachment and relationship difficulties can be overcome to build healthy relationships and personal happiness. For example, Nickola investigates how couples and families can effectively support each other and resolve conflict to enhance relationship success. Nickola also assesses how people's relationship insecurities and negative beliefs influence the way they respond in relationships, and she investigates the factors that can overcome the dysfunctional patterns arising from relationship insecurity and biased perceptions. Read more about Nickola's research programmes here: http://relationships.auckland.ac.nz/

Teaching | Current

Nickola teaches social psychology in two undergraduate courses (PSYCH 204 and PSYCH 311), a postgraduate course (PSYCH 716), and has a large team of research students. For more information on working in the REACH Lab click the link below and/or contact Nickola. Also read more about Nickola's research programmes and students here: http://relationships.auckland.ac.nz/


  • Gerald R. Miller Award for Early Career Achievement, International Association of Relationship Research, 2016
  • Fellow, Association of Psychological Science, 2015
  • Caryl Rusbult Close Relationships Early Career Award, Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 2014
  • Fellow, Society of Personality and Social Psychology, 2014
  • Dean's Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching, 2013
  • Identified as ‘Rising Star’, Association for Psychological Science, 2011
  • Fellow, Society of Experimental Social Psychology, 2010
  • University of Auckland Early Career Excellence Award, 2010


Deputy Head of School (Research), School of Psychology

Areas of expertise

Social Psychology, Close Relationships, Interpersonal Influence, Communication, Conflict, Support, Attachment, Interpersonal Perceptions, Emotion Regulation

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Associate Editor, Social Psychological and Personality Science
  • Consulting Editor, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Personal Relationships, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Overall, N. C., & McNulty, J. K. (2017). What type of communication during conflict is beneficial for intimate relationships?. Current Opinion in Psychology, 13, 1-5. 10.1016/j.copsyc.2016.03.002
  • Overall, N. C., Hammond, M. D., McNulty, J. K., & Finkel, E. J. (2016). When power shapes interpersonal behavior: Low relationship power predicts men's aggressive responses to low situational power. J Pers Soc Psychol, 111 (2), 195-217. 10.1037/pspi0000059
  • Girme, Y. U., Overall, N. C., Faingataa, S., & Sibley, C. G. (2016). Happily Single: The Link Between Relationship Status and Well-Being Depends on Avoidance and Approach Social Goals. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 7 (2), 122-130. 10.1177/1948550615599828
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/31550
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Chris Sibley
  • Hammond, M. D., Overall, N. C., & Cross, E. J. (2016). Internalizing sexism within close relationships: Perceptions of intimate partners' benevolent sexism promote women's endorsement of benevolent sexism. Journal of personality and social psychology, 110 (2), 214-238.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Emily Cross
  • Overall, N. C., Fletcher, G. J., Simpson, J. A., & Fillo, J. (2015). Attachment insecurity, biased perceptions of romantic partners' negative emotions, and hostile relationship behavior. Journal of personality and social psychology, 108 (5), 730-749.
  • Girme, Y. U., Overall, N. C., Simpson, J. A., & Fletcher, G. J. (2015). "All or nothing": attachment avoidance and the curvilinear effects of partner support. Journal of personality and social psychology, 108 (3), 450-475.
  • Overall, N. C., & Simpson, J. A. (2015). Attachment and Dyadic Regulation Processes. Current opinion in psychology, 1, 61-666.
  • Simpson, J. A., & Overall, N. C. (2014). Partner Buffering of Attachment Insecurity. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23 (1), 54-59. 10.1177/0963721413510933
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/23537


Contact details

  • Media Contact

Primary location

Level 5, Room 539
New Zealand

Web links