Close Relationships Interest Group

Professor Omri Gillath, PhD

Social and Behavioral Sciences - Psychology
Primary office:
Fraser Hall, 518
University of Kansas
1415 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045-7556


My research focuses on close relationships and their underlying mechanisms. I'm investigating the psychological aspect of behavioral systems, especially the attachment, care giving, and sexual mating systems.

To achieve this I'm using a multi method multi level approach including neuroimaging techniques, physiological measures, endocrine markers, as well as questionnaires and RTs measures.

One main line of research is focused on 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. Recently I've started looking at the interplay between people's perception of AI and their attachment style.


Research Interests

  • 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.

Selected Publications

Gillath, O., Karantzas, C. G., & Selcuk, E. (2017). A Net of friends: Investigating friendship by integrating attachment theory and social network analysis [Journal Articles]. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43, 1546–1565.
Gillath, O., & Keefer, L. (2016). Generalizing disposability: Residential mobility and the willingness to dissolve social ties. Personal Relationships. [Journal Articles]. Personal Relationships, 23, 186–198.
Chun, D. S., Shaver, P. R., Gillath, O., Mathews, A., & Jorgensen, T. D. (2015). Testing a Dual-Process Model of Avoidant Defenses [Journal Articles]. Journal of Research in Personality, 55, 75–83.
Gillath, O., & Karantzas, G. (2015). Attachment security and prosociality: Dynamics, underlying mechanisms, and implications [Book Chapters]. In P. J. Carroll, R. M. Arkin, & A. Wichman (Eds.), The Handbook of Personal Security (pp. 159–171). Taylor & Francis: Psychology Press.
Gillath, O., Gregersen, S., Canterberry, M., & Schmitt, D. P. (2014). The consequences of high levels of attachment security [Journal Articles]. Personal Relationships, 21(3), 497–514.
DeWall, C. N., Gillath, O., Pressman, S. D., Black, L. L., Bartz, J., Moskovitz, J., & Stetler, D. A. (2014). When the Love Hormone Leads to Violence: Oxytocin Increases Intimate Partner Violence Inclinations among High Trait Aggressive People. [Journal Articles]. Social and Personality Psychological Science, 5, 691–697.

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