Director: C. Raymond Knee, Ph.D. (Chip)

2013-2014 lab members

Current Graduate Students

Zachary Baker

I received a BA in Psychology with minors in Statistics and Political Science from Arcadia University in the Spring of 2013.

Research Interests:
As an undergraduate I researched a number of rather dissimilar topics. I have conducted studies on drugs (using rats), body image (using people), and internationally tested the effects of a proposed new measure of obedience. In recent years, however, Self-Determination Theory has become my bread and butter as it seems to apply to just about everything.

Currently I am investigating relations between Attachment Theory and Self-Determination Theory as well as antecedents of authenticity.

Personal Information:
I was born and bred in the suburbs of Philadelphia and Houston is my first experience away that cannot be measured in weeks. I love to read for fun when I have the time and enjoy everything from history to futuristic science fiction. A few recent favorites are The Unincorporated Man, The Signal and the Noise, and All the Pretty Horses.

Benjamin W. Hadden

I received my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of Delaware in the spring of 2010. Before starting graduate school at the University of Houston in the fall of 2011, I spent a year as a post baccalaureate research assistant at the University of Mississippi.

Research Interests:
My research focuses on the role of motivations and goals in influencing relationship dynamics, mainly through the lens of self-determination theory. I am particularly interested in the influence of self-determination on relationship development and maintenance processes. For instance, I am currently investigating the role of autonomous motivations in shaping support provision for partners. I am also interested in how self-determination influences responses to a variety of relationship threats, such as feelings of rejection from one’s partner.

See/hide Publications and Poster presentations »

Manuscripts in Submission

Smith, C. V. & Hadden, B. W. It’s not just physical. The interpersonal side of safe sex. Manuscript in submission.

Professional Presentations

Hadden, B. W. & Smith, C. V. (2010, October). It’s not just physical: The interpersonal aspects of condom use. Symposium talk given at the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Southeastern Social Psychologists, Charleston, South Carolina.

Hadden, B. W., Smith, C. V., & Canevello, A. (2010, January). Who am I in it for?: Relationship goals and positive experiences in dating couples. Poster presented at the 11th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Smith, C. V., Jonason, P. K., & Hadden, B. W. (2010, January). Dating a bad boy or a bad girl: The Dark Triad within couples. Poster presented at the 11th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hadden, B. W., Pulinka, L., Wetstone, S., & Smith, C. V. (2009, March). First time sexual experience as a predictor of future sexual relationship satisfaction. Poster presented at the 80th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Pulinka, L., Hadden, B. W., Graber, E., & Laurenceau, J. P. (2008, December) Daily gratitude in relationships. Poster presented at the semi-annual University of Delaware Psychology Poster Session.

Hadden, B. W., Pulinka, L., & Most, S. B. (2008, May) Blind jealousy: Romantic insecurity increases emotion-induced failures of visual perception. Poster presented at the semi-annual University of Delaware Psychology Poster Session.

Whitney Petit

I received my Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Western Carolina University in 2012. I also received my Master of Arts in General/Experimental Psychology in 2014 from Western Carolina University.

Research Interests:
Throughout my academic career I have investigated phenomenon that address a wide array of research questions. As an undergraduate and master’s student, I mainly conducted research on the social consequences of disparagement humor. For my thesis, however, I conducted research that investigated the processes which underlie an important relationship preservation strategy. I provided a direct test of two competing hypotheses by comparing coupled and non-coupled people on their pupil dilation and self-reported attraction to opposite-sex targets. Consequently, I developed a particular fascination in studying close relationships. At UH, I hope to continue researching maintenance mechanisms in romantic relationships while also exploring relationship contingent self-esteem as well as the interplay between attractiveness and romantic relationships.

Personal Information:
I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. Because of this, I was able to do some of the most spectacular hiking and rafting growing up. Nowadays, in my spare time, I still enjoy doing anything in the outdoors and have recently begun annual camping trips to various National Parks around the US.

Michelle Quist

Bachelors of Psychology – LeTourneau University, Texas
Masters of Research in Psychology – University of Aberdeen, Scotland
Masters of Arts in Psychology – University of Houston, Texas

Research Interests:
Social Psychology is a broad field, and as such my research interests vary. I like collaborating with other researchers to work on several different topics, both to expand my knowledge and also to seek correlates of underlying behavior that affect a lot of different situations. In my own personal research, I am currently investigating the effects of religiosity/spirituality on shame and guilt, as well as the use of video games as a social tool and the effects this may be having on undergraduate students.

Personal Info:
In addition to pursuing my PhD, I like to spend a great deal of time traveling with friends and family. I love to visit new places, and I would like to see as much of the world as I can. As of right now, I have visited all 50 United States, 23 countries, and three continents, and the number is still rising!

Now Ph.D.s

  • Amy Bush, Ph.D.
  • Amy Canevello, Ph.D.
  • Astrid Cook, Ph.D.
  • Helen Lee Lin, Ph.D.
  • Cynthia Lonsbary, Ph.D.
  • Aruni Nanayakkara, Ph.D.
  • Clayton Neighbors, Ph.D.
  • Heather Patrick, Ph.D.
  • Bennett Porter, Ph.D.
  • Kristen Petty, Ph. D.
  • Lindsey Rodriguez, Ph.D.
  • Ahmet Uysal, Ph.D.
  • Nathaniel Vietor, Ph.D.
  • Robert Wickham, Ph.D.