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Lora Park, Ph.D.

ParkLoraAssociate Professor
Ph.D., University of Michigan
344 Park Hall
(716) 645-0228
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Summary of Research Interests

My research program focuses broadly on questions pertaining to the self, motivation, and interpersonal processes.  Specifically, my research examines how aspects of the person (e.g., self-esteem, contingencies of self-worth, rejection sensitivity, social roles) interact with situations to affect outcomes such as motivation, performance, interpersonal functioning, and well-being.  One line of research (funded by NSF) examines how the pursuit of romantic goals affects women’s interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) – fields in which women are typically underrepresented – and examines the types of contexts that boost motivation and interest in STEM.  Additional projects examine the consequences of basing self-worth in valued domains; the effects of being sensitive to rejection based on physical appearance; and the impact of sociocultural factors in shaping psychological experience.


Representative Publications

  • Park, L.E., Kondrak, C. Ward, D.E., & Streamer, L. (in press).  Positive feedback from male authority figures boosts women’s math outcomes.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
  • Park, L.E., Ward, D.E., & Naragon-Gainey, K. (2017).  It’s all about the money (for some): Consequences of financially contingent self-worth.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43, 601-622.
  • Park, L.E., Eastwick, P.W., Young, A.F., Troisi, J.D., & Streamer, L. (2016).  Desirable but not smart:  Preference for smarter romantic partners impairs women’s STEM outcomes.  Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 46, 158-179.
  • Park, L.E., Young, A.F., & Eastwick, P.W. (2015).  (Psychological) distance makes the heart grow fonder:  Effects of psychological distance and relative intelligence on men’s attraction to women.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41, 1459-1473.
  • Park, L.E., Streamer, L., Huang, L., & Galinsky, A.D. (2013). Stand tall, but don’t put your feet up: Universal and culturally-specific effects of expansive postures on power.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 965-971.
  • Park, L. E., Young, A. F., Troisi, J. D., & Pinkus, R. T. (2011). Effects of everyday romantic goal pursuit on women’s attitudes toward math and science. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 1259-1273.
  • Park, L. E. (2010). Responses to self-threat: Linking self and relational constructs with approach and avoidance motivation. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 4, 201-221.
  • Park, L. E., & Maner, J. K. (2009). Does self-threat promote social connection? The role of self-esteem and contingencies of self-worth. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 203-217.
  • Park, L. E., & Pinkus, R. T. (2009). Interpersonal effects of appearance-based rejection sensitivity.  Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 602-612.
  • Park, L. E. (2007). Appearance-based rejection sensitivity: Implications for mental and physical health, affect, and motivation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 490-504.
  • Park, L. E., Crocker, J., & Kiefer, A. K. (2007).  Contingencies of self-worth, academic failure, and goal pursuit.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 1503-1517.
  • Park, L. E., & Crocker, J. (2005). Interpersonal consequences of seeking self-esteem. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 11, 1587-1598.
  • Crocker, J., & Park, L.E. (2004). The costly pursuit of self-esteem. Psychological Bulletin, 130, 392–414.