My research focuses on close relationships and their underlying mechanisms. In the past few years I've investigated the psychological aspect of behavioral systems, especially the attachment, care giving, and sexual mating systems.
I'm expanding this work by using neuroimaging techniques, physiological measures, and endocrine markers to examine a diverse range of correlates and underpinnings of socially significant behavioral systems. In my work I explore the associations between a person's attachment style (relationship style) and goals and behaviors in the caregiving and sexual domains (e.g., ability to provide and receive compassionate care; interest in short- vs. long-term mating strategies).
I'm also exploring the effects of increasing people's sense of attachment security on their tendency to engage in pro-social behavior, their altruistic and sexual attitudes, and their goals, as well as their attentional strategies.
In a separate line of research, I'm looking at online and offline social networks, their characteristics, and the way they change over time. I also look at the links between one's attachment style and his or her social network.
- Personality and social psychology
- Social neuroscience
- Research on attachment theory (individual differences in attachment orientation
- Brain mechanisms and genetic polymorphisms underlying these differences
- Attentional processes related to these differences
- Relations between the attachment, caregiving, and sexual behavioral systems as they affect adult relationships)
- Prosocial motivation and behavior (compassion and altruism)
- Social networks.
Gillath, O. Canterberry, M. & Atchley, P. (2017). Attachment as a predictor of driving performance. Transportation Research Part F: Psychology and Behaviour, 208-217.
Griffith, R. Gillath, O. Zhao, X. & Martinez, R. (2017). Staying Friends with Ex-Romantic Partners: Predictors, Reasons, and Outcomes. Personal Relationships, 24, 550-584.
Sakaluk, J. K., & Gillath, O. (2016). The causal effects of relational security and insecurity on condom use attitudes and acquisition behavior. Archives of sexual behavior, 45(2), 339-352. DOI:10.1007/s10508-015-0618-x
Gillath, O. & Keefer, L. (2016). Generalizing disposability: Residential mobility and the willingness to dissolve social ties. Personal Relationships. Personal Relationships, 23, 186-198.
Gillath, O. & Karantzas, G. (2015). Attachment security and prosociality: Dynamics, underlying mechanisms, and implications. In P. J. Carroll, R. M. Arkin, & A. Wichman (Eds.), The Handbook of Personal Security (pp. 159-171). Philadelphia, PA: Taylor & Francis: Psychology Press.
Chun, D. S., Shaver, P. R., Gillath, O. Mathews, A. & Jorgensen, T. D. (2015). Testing a Dual-Process Model of Avoidant Defenses. Journal of Research in Personality, 55, 75-83.
Gillath, O. Gregersen, S. Canterberry, M. & Schmitt, D. P. (2014). The consequences of high levels of attachment security. Personal Relationships, 21(3), 497-514. DOI:10.1111/pere.12045