Currently, my main research focus is on the role of social rewards, particularly intimacy and connection, in the regulation of emotional investment in romantic relationships. My lab has shown that rewards are a particularly important force impelling commitment to a relationship, and that this process is tied to individual differences in attachmet avoidance. I also maintain interests in acceptance and rejection more broadly, including the experience of social pain.
- Attitudes and Beliefs
- Close Relationships
- Culture and Ethnicity
- Emotion, Mood, Affect
- Evolution and Genetics
- Interpersonal Processes
- Personality, Individual Differences
- Persuasion, Social Influence
- Self and Identity
- Social Cognition
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- MacDonald, G., & Jensen-Campbell, L. A. (Eds.). (2011). Social pain: Neuropsychological and health implications of loss and exclusion. Washington, DC: APA Books.
- Joel, S., Gordon, A. M., Impett, E. A., MacDonald, G., & Keltner, D. (in press). The things you do for me: Perceptions of a romantic partner’s investments promote gratitude and commitment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
- Borsook, T. K., & MacDonald, G. (2010). Mildly negative social encounters reduce physical pain sensitivity. Pain, 151, 372-377.
- Dane, S. K., & MacDonald, G. (2009). Heterosexuals' acceptance predicts same-sex attracted young adults' well-being beyond ingroup support. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 26, 659-677.
- DeWall, C. N., MacDonald, G., Webster, G. D., Masten, C., Baumeister, R. F., Powell, C., Combs, D., Schurtz, D. R., Stillman, T. F., Tice, D. M., & Eisenberger, N. I. (2010). Acetaminophen reduces social pain: Behavioral and neural evidence. Psychological Science, 21, 931-937.
- Gere, J., & MacDonald, G. (2010). An update of the empirical case for the need to belong. Journal of Individual Psychology, 66, 93-115.
- Joel, S., MacDonald, G., & Plaks, J. E. (2012). Attachment anxiety uniquely predicts regret proneness in close relationship contexts. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3, 348-355.
- Joel, S., MacDonald, G., & Shimotomai, A. (2011). Conflicting pressures on relationship commitment for anxiously attached individuals. Journal of Personality, 79, 51-71.
- MacDonald, G., & Borsook, T. K. (2010). Attachment avoidance and feelings of connection in social interaction. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2010.05.019.
- MacDonald, G., & Jessica, M. (2006). Family approval as a constraint in dependency regulation: Evidence from Australia and Indonesia. Personal Relationships, 13, 183-194.
- MacDonald, G., & Leary M. R. (2005). Why does social exclusion hurt? The relationship between social and physical pain. Psychological Bulletin, 131, 202-223.
- MacDonald, G., Saltzman, J. L., & Leary, M. R. (2003). Social approval and trait self-esteem. Journal of Research in Personality, 37, 23-40.
- Nail, P. R., MacDonald, G., & Levy, D. A. (2000). Proposal of a four-dimensional model of social influence. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 454-470.
- Nordgren, L. F., Banas, K., & MacDonald, G. (2011). Empathy gaps for social pain: Why people underestimate the pain of social suffering. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 120-128.
- Spielmann, S. S., Joel, S., MacDonald, G., & Kogan, A. (2013). Ex appeal: Current relationship quality and emotional attachment to ex-partners. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 175-180.
- Spielmann, S. S., MacDonald, G., & Tackett, J. L. (2012). Social threat, social reward, and regulation of investment in romantic relationships. Personal Relationships, 19, 601-622.
- Spielmann, S. S., MacDonald, G., & Wilson, A. E. (2009). On the rebound: Focusing on someone new helps anxiously attached individuals let go of ex-partners. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 1382-1394.
- Spielmann, S. S., Maxwell, J. A., MacDonald, G., & Baratta, P. L. (2013). Don't get your hopes up: Avoidantly attached individuals perceive lower social reward when there is potential for intimacy. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 91-107.
- MacDonald, G. (2009). Social pain and hurt feelings. In P. Corr & G. Matthews (Eds.) The Cambridge handbook of personality (pp. 541-555). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- MacDonald, G. (2007). Self-esteem: A human elaboration of prehuman belongingness motivation. In C. Sedikides & S. Spencer (Eds.), The self in social psychology (pp. 412-456). New York: Psychology Press.
- Human Sexuality
- Introductory Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Social Psychology of Communication
- Social Psychology of Interpersonal Relationships
Department of Psychology
University of Toronto
100 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G3
- Phone: (416) 978-3840