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University of California, Santa Barbara, Close Relationships Lab

Cause Area

  • Community
  • Education & Literacy
  • Health & Medicine
  • Seniors


UC Santa BarbaraSanta Barbara, CA 93106 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Most people rate their close relationships as their most important source of personal happiness, but developing and sustaining satisfying relationships is not always easy. Why are some people better able to cultivate secure and well-functioning relationships, and how do these relationships help people to thrive? We use theory and methods in Social Psychology to answer these and other fascinating questions about intimate relationships. Our work lies at the interface of close relationships, social cognition, and health psychology.


Much or our work is guided by adult attachment theory, focusing on both normative processes and individual differences. In doing so, we take a biopsychosocial perspective, investigating the complex links between affect, cognition, social behavior, and biology. We use multiple methodologies including experimental, observational, and daily diary methods. Our current work also uses immersive virtual environments, neuroendocrine and cardiovascular assessments, and brain imaging.


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