Emily started her PhD mid-2015 after completing her Honours (BA Hons) and Masters (MSc) in the REACH Lab. Her primary areas of research focus on the intersection between social attitudes and functioning within close, intimate relationships. Sexist attitudes pervade social interactions and play a powerful role in sustaining gender inequality. Intimate relationships are central to people’s lives and potently affect health, wellbeing and wider social attitudes. Yet, research focusing on sexist attitudes has tended to ignore research examining intimate relationship processes (and vice versa). Emily’s research integrates these two important domains to show that (a) sexist attitudes have far-reaching effects on relationship functioning, and (b) relationship dynamics are fundamental to understanding women’s endorsement of sexist attitudes. For example, she investigates how hostile sexist attitudes impact aggressive and controlling responses within relationship initiation contexts, in ongoing established relationships, and during familial parent-child interactions. Her research also investigates how features of sexist attitudes are attractive and buffer relationship insecurities, including attachment insecurities, because they provide distinct gender roles that can offer security and protection to those who need it.
Emily adopts diverse methods to capture the interplay between social attitudes and relationship processes as they unfold over the course of social interaction and peoples’ lives. These methods include behavioural observation, daily diary and experience sampling methods, speed dating paradigms, and longitudinal designs to assess interpersonal processes as they naturally occur and influence people’s wellbeing and attitudes across time. These sophisticated methods are complimented by complex statistical techniques, such as multi-level and dyadic modelling (e.g. Actor-Partner-Independence Model and Social Relations Model) and structural equation modelling.
Cross, E.J., & Overall, N.C. (2018). Women’s Attraction to Benevolent Sexism: Needing Relationship Security Predicts Greater Attraction to Men who Endorse Benevolent Sexism. European Journal of Social Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2334
Cross, E.J., Overall, N.C., Hammond, M.D., & Fletcher, G.J.O. (2017). When does Men’s Hostile Sexism Predict Relationship Aggression? The Moderating Role of Partner Commitment. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8, 331-340. doi.org/10.1177/1948550616672000
Cross, E.J., Overall, N.C. & Hammond, M.D. (2016). Perceiving Partners to Endorse Benevolent Sexism Attenuates Highly Anxious Women’s Negative Reactions to Conflict. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 42, 923-940. doi.org/10.1177/0146167216647933
Hammond, M.D., Overall, N.C. & Cross, E.J. (2016). Internalizing sexism within close relationships: Perceptions of intimate partners’ benevolent sexism promote women’s endorsement of benevolent sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110, 214-238. doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000043
Overall, N.C., & Cross, E.J. (in press). Attachment insecurity and the regulation of power and dependence in intimate relationships. In C.R. Agnew & J.J. Harmon (Eds.), Power in Close Relationships. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.