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 maintenance, susceptibility to infidelity, and break-up. Recent work focuses on how learning about someone’s personality influences perceptions of their physical attractiveness. Other recent work focuses on the experience of personal growth and positive outcomes following relationship dissolution, including strategies to promote positive outcomes.



* Monmouth University Student


Ciarocco, N., Echevarria, J.,* & Lewandowski, G. W., Jr. (2012). Hungry for love: The influence of self-regulation on infidelity.  Journal of Social Psychology.

Mattingly, B. A., McIntyre, K. P., & Lewandowski, G. W., Jr. (in press). Approach motivation and the expansion of self in close relationships.  Personal Relationships. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2010.01343.x

Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., & Nardone, N.* (2012). Self-concept clarity's role in self-other agreement and the accuracy of behavioral prediction. Self and Identity, 11, 71-89. doi: 10.1080/15298868.2010.512133

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. doi: 10.1177/0265407510382321

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. doi: 10.1080/15298860903332191

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. doi:10.1111/j.1751-9004.2009.00229.x

Lewandowski, G. W., Jr. (2009). Promoting positive emotions following relationship dissolution through writing. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(1), 21-31. doi:10.1080/17439760802068480

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. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6811.2007.00172.x

Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., & Bizzoco, N.* (2007). Addition through subtraction: Growth following the dissolution of a low quality relationship. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 2(1), 40-54. doi:10.1080/17439760601069234

Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., & Harrington, S.* (2006). The influence of phonetic abbreviations on evaluation of student performance.  Current Research in Social Psychology, 11(15), 215-226.

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. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6811.2006.00120.x

Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., & Ackerman, R. A.* (2006).  Something’s missing: Need fulfillment and self-expansion as predictors of susceptibility to infidelity.  The Journal of Social Psychology, 146(4), 389-403. doi:10.3200/SOCP.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. doi:10.2224/sbp.2004.32.4.361

Selected Publications


Press Highlights


Gary W. Lewandowski Jr. Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Psychology