Dr Veronica Lamarche
Dr Veronica Lamarche is a social psychologist and lecturer (assistant professor) at the University of Essex in Colchester, UK. She received her PhD in Social-Personality Psychology in 2017 from the University at Buffalo, SUNY in Buffalo, New York. She also received a M.A. in Psychology from UB in 2015, and a B.A. in Psychology (Honours) and Business in 2010 from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. During her time at the University at Buffalo, she was a member of the Interpersonal Processes Lab and the Social Psychophysiology Lab, working with Dr. Sandra Murray and Dr. Mark Seery.
Before returning to school for her PhD, Veronica worked for the Government of Canada researching postsecondary education (pursuit, persistence, and satisfaction post-graduation) for the Learning Policy Directorate, part of Employment and Social Development Canada. She also worked as a Research Advisor in the private sector for Nanos Research, a public opinion and market research company.
Veronica’s research focuses on understanding how people regulate trust and dependence in their romantic relationships, and how feelings of uncertainty or vulnerability can influence relationship stability. Her work stems from the big question "What makes some couples more resilient in the face of uncertainty compared to others?" She is guided by two main research questions: 1) What are the individual differences that predict greater relationship resiliency in the face of uncertainty; and 2) Do self-regulatory systems managing responses to uncertainty outside of the relationship influence relationship regulatory responses within the relationship
Individual Differences in Response to Relationship Threats
A first line of research focuses on the individual differences in personality that make coping with feelings of vulnerability in a relationship easier for some people and more difficult for others, with particular interest in traits such as self-esteem and/or self-control. Both self-esteem and self-control can serve as a proxy for interpersonal trust. Higher trust helps facilitate more positive responses to vulnerability (e.g., seeking connection with a partner), while lower trust often leads to more negative responses (e.g., distancing from a partner).
Activating Relationship Regulation Through Self-Regulatory Needs
A second line of research builds off of the first by extending our understanding of how relationship regulation (i.e., the motivation to seek connection or self-protection in response to relationship threats) can be activated by other self-regulatory needs. Dr Lamarche suspects that relationship regulatory systems developed by co-opting more basic self-regulatory systems that monitor safety, and is particularly interested in understanding how activating self-regulatory systems responsible for maintaining physical homeostasis (e.g., thirst/hunger, pain management, pathogen avoidance), as well as systems designed to manage meaning can influence the way we think and feel about our romantic partners.
Gender, Sex and Sexuality in Romantic Relationships
A new line of research examines how different experiences with gender, sex, and sexuality can impact relationship well-being, with particular interest in understanding how issues related to benevolent sexism and fragile masculinity negatively impact relationship well-being. Dr Lamarche is also interested in looking at how different social goals can put people at a greater risk of sexual assault.