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Dr Katherine Carnelley BA, MS, PhD

Associate Professor, Social and Personality Psychology

Dr Katherine Carnelley's photo

Dr Katherine Carnelley is Associate Professor within Psychology at the University of Southampton.

BA: University of California, Los Angeles;
MS: University of Massachusetts, Amherst;
PhD: University of Massachusetts, Amherst;
Postdoc: Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Research interests

My research area is personal relationships. I investigate the ways in which attachment experiences with parents and romantic partners influence how people view the self, others and relationships. My research focuses on how models of self and others influence people's thoughts, emotions, and behaviours in romantic relationships, for example relationship functioning and caregiving. I am co-founder of the UK Attachment Network.

One stream of my research focuses on moving people toward felt security. Attachment security is associated with better relationship quality and well-being. I examine the extent to which temporarily activated attachment security (via priming) can lead to these positive outcomes in a series of studies.  With my colleagues and students, for example, I have investigated the effects of priming attachment security on self-views and relationship-views, feelings of vitality and energy, pain sensitivity, mental health, and therapy attitudes. In addition, I have tested ways to increase the impact of a security prime via repeated priming in the lab, online, or via text messaging.

Other streams of research focus on attachment networks (e.g., who serves as attachment figures, how they change over time). Recently I’ve investigated the role of partners in coping with the Covid-19 pandemic, examining personal and relational wellbeing and goals. I’m also interested in close relationships and technology use (e.g., technoference).

Research group

Centre for Research on Self and Identity (CRSI)

Research project(s)

Attachment based psychological interventions for people with psychosis

Director of External Relations

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Book Chapter



Social Psychology;
Attachment and Personal Relationships.
Thinking Psychologically.

I supervise final year undergraduate research projects and postgraduate research projects (MSc, PhD, DEdPsych, DClinPsych).

Dr Katherine Carnelley
Director of External Relations Psychology University of Southampton Highfield Campus Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 44/4013

Facsimile: (023) 8059 4597

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