Lara Kammrath

Email:  kammralk at wfu.eduProfilePicture
Associate Professor of Psychology
Greene Hall 470

Research Interests & Relevant Publications

My research interests are in the area of close relationships, with specific interests on the topics of social self-regulation, social perceptions and beliefs, and social support seeking. Typically each student that works with me carves out some unique topic within the area of close relationship processes, as you can see below.

Social regulation

A primary area of my research involves the study of how people regulate their thoughts and behaviors in their social interactions with others, including friends, family members, romantic partners, and strangers. Johanna Peetz and I studied the factors that predict people’s ability to keep promises of change to their romantic partners (Peetz & Kammrath, 2013). Megan McCarthy and I studied the factors that impact a person’s likelihood to speak up about relational dissatisfactions (McCarthy & Kammrath, in prep). We also studied how different personality traits predict assertiveness within a close relationship in low versus high importance situations (Kammrath, McCarthy, Friesen, & Cortes, under review). Kassandra Cortes and I studied what happens when you take a typical self-regulation task and frame it as a task that benefits another person, that is, make it a social action instead of a personal action (Cortes, Kammrath, Scholer, & Peetz, 2013).  Annie Locke and I studied how self-control depletion predicts the level of mindfulness (mindful attention) that people give to romantic partners (Locke, Kammrath, & Armstrong, in prep). Julia Brinton and I studied how psychological strains at work (negative affect and exhaustion) predict people’s failures to inhibit hostile responding at home (Brinton, Kammrath, & Wayne, in prep).

Seeking Social Support as an Emotion Regulation Strategy

A relatively new area that I am interested in arose from recent work with Benjamin Armstrong. In his study, we examined the consequences associated with seeking a lot of support from one supporter versus the consequences of seeking support from many different supporters (Armstrong & Kammrath, in press). We further investigated the tactics people use to decide whether to approach supporter A versus supporter B and what outcomes result from such choices (Kammrath, Armstrong, & Iida, in prep). In follow-up research, Katelyn McNab is investigating whether people use different tactics about which supporters to approach if they have done some self-soothing before they seek social support.

Social Perceptions and Beliefs

Another area of my research involves the study of how people judge one another’s personalities, attitudes, motivations, etc., as well as the consequences of these judgments. Abigail Scholer and I investigated whether certain kinds of positive impressions are lost more easily than others when perceivers see a few examples of behavior that goes against the original impression (Kammrath, Ames, & Scholer, 2007). We also investigated whether highly agreeable individuals show a halo-effect for all types of impressions, as was previously thought, or whether they show “pitchfork” effects for certain types of behavioral observations, e.g. mean behavior (Kammrath & Scholer, 2011). Johanna Peetz and I studied whether people’s general belief about whether people can change their personalities influences their responses to a romantic partner’s failed attempt to change (Kammrath & Peetz, 2012). Charity Friesen and I studied the interpersonal consequences of having accurate knowledge of a friend’s “trigger profile” – that is, information about which annoying interpersonal behaviors bother the friend more and less (Friesen & Kammrath, 2011). Julia Brinton, John Petrocelli and I studied what happens to a current relationship when a person has a potent upward counterfactual thought about a romantic interest from their past (Petrocelli, Kammrath, Brinton, Uy, & Cowens, under review).


  • Armstrong, B. & Kammrath, L.K. (in press). Depth and breadth tactics in support seeking. In press at Social and Personality Psychological Science.
  • Cortes, K., Kammrath, L.K., Scholer, A.A., & Peetz, J. (2014). Self regulating the effortful “social dos”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 380-397.
  • Peetz, J., & Kammralk, L.K. (2013). Folk understandings of self-regulation in relationships: Recognizing the importance of self-regulatory ability for others, but not the self. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 712-718.
  • Kammrath, L.K. (2012). The Cognitive Affective Personality System. In Howard Tennen & Jerry Suls, Eds, Handbook of Psychology, 2nd Ed., Vol 5: Personality and Social Psychology. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Kammrath, L.K., & Peetz, J. (2012) You promised you’d change: How incremental and entity theorists react to a romantic partner’s change attempts. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 570-574.
  • Kammrath, L.K. (2011). What we think we do (to each other): How the same relational behaviors mean different things to people with different personality profiles. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 754-770.
  • Kammrath, L.K., & Scholer, A.A. (2011) The Pollyanna myth: How highly agreeable people judge positive and negative relational acts. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 1172 – 1184.
  • Friesen, C. & Kammrath, L.K. (2011). What it pays to know about a close other: The value of contextualized “if-then” personality knowledge in close relationships. Psychological Science, 22, 567-571.
  • Kammrath, L.K., & Peetz, J. (2011). The limits of love: Predicting immediate versus sustained caring behaviors in close relationships. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 411-417.
  • Peetz, J. & Kammrath, L.K. (2011) Only because I love you: Why people make and why they break promises in romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 887-904.
  • Ames, D.R., Kammrath, L.K. Suppes, A., & Bolger, N. (2010).  Not so fast: The (not-quite-complete) dissociation between accuracy and confidence in thin slice impressions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 264-277.
  • Kammrath, L.K., Ames, D.R., & Scholer, A.A. (2007).  Keeping up impressions: Inferential standards for impression change across the Big Five. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 450-457.
  • Kammrath, L.K. & Dweck, C. (2006).  Voicing conflict: Preferred conflict strategies among incremental and entity and theorists. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 1497-1508.
  • Kammrath, L.K., Mendoza-Denton, R., & Mischel, W. (2005).  Incorporating if…then… signatures in person perception: Beyond the person-situation dichotomy.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 605-618.
  • Ames, D.R., & Kammrath, L.K. (2004).  Mind-reading and metacognition: Narcissism, not actual competence, predicts self-estimated ability. Journal of Non-Verbal Behavior, 28, 187-210.

Manuscripts In Revision or Under Review

  • Kammrath, L.K., Peetz, J., Demarco, A., Hara, K., Wood, K., Kirconnell, J., Meirovich, H., & Allen, T. (in revision).  It’s a matter of time: The effect of depletion on helpful behavior in romantic relationships is moderated by relationship length. In revision at Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
  • Kammrath, L.K., McCarthy, M., Cortes, K., & Friesen, C. (in revision).  Picking one’s battles: How skilled assertiveness and skilled unassertiveness are associated with extraversion and agreeableness.  In revision at Social Psychological and Personality Science.
  • Petrocelli, J.V., Kammrath, L.K., Brinton, J., Uy, M., Cowens, D., (in revision). Holding on to what might have been may loosen (or tighten) the ties that bind us: A counterfactual potency analysis of previous dating alternatives. In revision at Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Manuscripts In Preparation

  • Armstrong, B., Kammrath, L.K., Iida, M., & Suppes, L. (in prep). Who you gonna call? Support selection decisions and consequences for psychological well-being. Manuscript in preparation.
  • McCarthy, M., & Kammrath, L.K. (in prep). All fired up but nothing to say: The null association between dissatisfaction and verbalization close relationships. Manuscript in preparation.
  • Locke, A.,  Kammrath, L.K., Armstrong, B. (in prep). Going through the motions: Depleted relationship partners perform communal behaviors automatically, but mindlessly. Manuscript in preparation.
  • Kammrath, L.K., Armstrong, B., Kichline, T., Whitmill, A., & Locke, A. (in prep) Relational mindfulness as a predictor of positive relationship outcomes. Manuscript in preparation.
  • Kichline, T., Kammrath, L.K., & Armstrong, B. (in prep). The Ways of Expressing Love questionnaire. Manuscript in preparation.
  • Kichline, T., Kammrath, L.K., & Armstrong, B. (in prep). Metacognitive “Love Styles”: Can people accurately report the loving behaviors that make them most satisfied? Manuscript in preparation.



Curriculum Vitae

Courses Taught

  • Close Relationships
  • Self Regulation & Motivation
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Statistics

Comments are closed.