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Erica Slotter, PhD - Villanova University. Villanova , PA, US

Erica Slotter, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences | College of Liberal Arts and Sciences | Villanova University


Erica Slotter, PhD, is an expert in social psychology and romantic relationships.

Areas of Expertise (3)


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.

Education (3)

Northwestern University: PhD

Northwestern University: MA

New College of Florida: BA

Select Media Appearances (7)

What to Know Before Getting Back Together With an Ex

New York Magazine  


As I told this story to literally everyone I met, I learned that it’s common for people to rekindle relationships after years apart. And often, those relationships are at a unique advantage. “You already know that you’re attracted to this person,” explains Erica Slotter, an assistant professor of psychology at Villanova University, “and are aware of their strengths and weaknesses in relationships, as well as the strengths and weaknesses they bring out in you.”

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Why You Reach Out To Your Ex After A Breakup, And What It Means

Elite Daily  online


In “Who Am I Without You? The Influence of Romantic Breakup on the Self-Concept,” authors Erica B. Slotter, Wendi L. Gardner and Eli J. Finkel conclude that “romantic relationships alter the selves of the individuals within them.” “Partners develop shared friends and activities and even overlapping self-concepts. This intertwining of selves may leave individuals' self-concepts vulnerable to change if the relationship ends.”

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How Your Personality Shifts When You Start Dating Someone



Much has been written about Donald Trump's enthusiasm for Twitter, a category of analysis now basically its own genre. Mostly we focus on what his tweets tell us about his impulse control, or what they tell us about his disregard for the truth, or what they tell us about actual developments in national security. Most recently, though, people are wondering what they tell us about his marriage. ... Erica Slotter, an assistant professor at Villanova University's Department of Psychology (also unaffiliated with the algorithm) who studies the factors of romantic relationships that make our self-concepts malleable, is currently running a new lab study that may shed more light on this. "It's not just what you say, it's how you're saying it," Slotter says. "We modify our vocal patterns to be closer to [those of] our desired partner. We try to make ourselves similar to them."

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Get Over a Breakup With "Redemptive Narrative" Journaling

Lifehacker  online


There are a lot of great reasons to keep a journal, and getting over a breakup might be one of them. The key is using your words to reframe your suffering into a positive, or at least meaningful, experience. ... A recent study, conducted by Erica B. Slotter and Deborah E. Ward at Villanova University, and published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, suggests that writing about your experience in a certain way can lessen the emotional toll that breakups take.

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What Does ‘Closure’ Even Mean, Anyway?

Science of Us  


A separate set of studies led by Erica B. Slotter of Northwestern University came to a similar conclusion: After a breakup, she and her colleagues found, people understood themselves less clearly and even said that they felt smaller psychologically — and this reduced “self-concept clarity” was associated with greater post-breakup emotional distress.

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Listening to Jealousy

Psychology Today  


Katie didn’t see herself as the jealous type. Why should she be? The New York City writer was smart and attractive, and she was dating Sandy, a man 23 years her senior. “He saw me as this young pretty thing,” she says. “I felt very confident in our roles.” ... “Envy is ‘I want what you have.’ Jealousy is ‘I have something that I think you want, that I think you’re coming after,’” says Erica Slotter, a professor of psychology at Villanova University.

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New Psychology Study Uncovers the Romantic Consequences of Poor Sleep Quality

PsyPost  online


“What predicts whether romantic relationships last and are happy and satisfying is something I’ve been interested in my whole career,” said study author Erica B. Slotter, an associate professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Villanova University. “Our romantic bonds are important for both mental and physical well-being. In the field of relationships science, researchers have learned a lot over the past 50 years about the individual differences that matter for relationships (i.e., personality), as well as the communication and interaction styles within a relationship that work well versus not (i.e., conflict behaviors).”

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Select Academic Articles (5)

All role transitions are not experienced equally: Associations among self-change, emotional reactions, and self-concept clarity

Self and Identity

Erica B. Slotter and Courtney M. Walsh


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An Unclear Self Leads to Poor Mental Health: Self-Concept Confusion Mediates the Association of Loneliness with Depression

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

Stephanie B. Richman, Richard S. Pond, Jr., C. Nathan Dewall, Madoka Kumashiro, Erica B. Slotter, and Laura B. Luchies


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Reaching out by changing what's within: Social exclusion increases self-concept malleability

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

Stephanie B. Richman, Erica B.Slotter, Wendi L.Gardner, C. Nathan DeWall


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Remind Me Who I Am: Social Interaction Strategies for Maintaining the Threatened Self-Concept

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

Erica B. Slotter, Wendi L. Gardner


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Knowing Who You Are and Adding to It: Reduced Self-Concept Clarity Predicts Reduced Self-Expansion

Social Psychological and Personality Science

Lydia F. Emery, Courtney Walsh, Erica B. Slotter


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