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The Social Interaction Laboratory in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota is overseen by Professor Jeff Simpson. The lab is specially designed for studies that investigate how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of interaction partners impact the development, growth, maintenance, stability, and occasional deterioration of their relationships across time. The Lab contains several rooms for the observation, video-recording, and coding of complex social interactions between different types of relationship partners. It also contains equipment that assesses how partners (individuals) process relationship-relevant information.
Most of the research currently being conducted in the lab tests predictions derived from different theoretical models, including evolutionary models of human behavior (e.g., attachment theory, sexual selection and parental investment theory) as well as person by situation models (e.g., diathesis/stress models, gene/environment interaction models). Our research projects examine many types of interactions, ranging from initial romantic encounters, to conflict resolution, to support provision, to social capitalization interactions.
If you are interested in participating in studies being conducted in the lab or if you'd like to become a research assistant, please see the contact information.