Faculty Experts - Erica B. Slotter, PhD

Erica B. Slotter, PhD

Erica B. Slotter, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

 Area of Expertise:

  • Social Psychology
  • Romantic relationships 


Romantic relationships and the manner in which they influence individuals’ sense of self is Dr. Slotter’s specialty. She is an expert on how one romantic partner can integrate the characteristics of the other into their own self-concept. Dr. Slotter can explore other relationship paradoxes like how a romantic partner can simultaneously develop aggression and attachment anxiety toward a loved one. She can also speak to the self-identity confusion that sometimes ensues after a relationship ends. 


  • Ph.D., Northwestern University
  • M.A., Northwestern University
  • B.A., New College of Florida

Selected Publications 

  • Slotter, E. B., & Lucas, G. M. (2013). Validating a scale of self and partner change in romantic relationships: The Perceived Change in Relationships Scale. Self and Identity, 12, 177-185.
  • Slotter, E. B., & Gardner, W. L. (2012). The dangers of dating the “bad boy” (or girl): Romantic desire encourages the adoption of even negative qualities of potential partners. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 1173-1178.
  • Finkel, E. J., DeWall, C. N., Slotter, E. B., McNulty, J. K., Pond, R. S., Jr., & Atkins, D. C. (2012). Using I3 theory to clarify when dispositional aggressiveness predicts intimate partner violence perpetration. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102, 533-549.
  • Slotter, E. B., Finkel, E. J., DeWall C. N., Pond, R. S., Lambert, N. M., Bodenhausen, G.  & Fincham, F. (2012). Putting the brakes on aggression toward a romantic partner: The inhibitory influence of commitment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102, 291-305.
  • Slotter, E. B., & Gardner, W. L. (2012). How needing you changes me: The influence of attachment anxiety on self-concept malleability in romantic relationships. Self and Identity, 11, 386-408.
  • DeWall, C. N, Lambert, N. M., Slotter, E. B., Deckman, T., Pond, R. S., Finkel, E. J., Luchies, L., & Fincham, F. D. (2011). So far away from one’s partner, yet so close to alternatives: Avoidant attachment, interest in alternatives, and sexual infidelity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101,1302-1316.
  • Slotter, E. B., & Gardner, W. L. (2011). Can you help me become the “me” I want to be? The role of goal pursuit influences friendship formation. Self and Identity, 10, 231-247.
  • Slotter, E. B., Gardner, W. L., & Finkel, E. J. (2010) Who am “I” without “you”? The influence of romantic breakup on self-concept clarity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 147-160.

Selected Research

  • Summer Research Fellowship, Villanova University, “Self-Concept Recovery after Relationship Dissolution,” 2012.  
  • Travel grant, Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 2008.
  • Graduate research grant, Northwestern University, 2007. 

About Villanova

Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.

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