Miss Emily Jane Cross

BA (First Class Honours, Psychology), MSc (First Class Honours, Psychology)

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


Emily started her PhD mid-2015 after completing her Bachelors (Double Major Psychology and Politics), Honours (BA Hons) and Masters (MSc) in the REACH Lab (Researching Emotions, Attachment, Close Relationships and Health).

Research | Current

Emily's primary areas of research focus on the intersection between social attitudes and functioning within close, intimate relationships. Sexist attitudes pervade social interactions and play a powerful role in sustaining gender inequality. Intimate relationships are central to people’s lives and potently affect health, wellbeing and wider social attitudes. Yet, research focusing on sexist attitudes has tended to ignore research examining intimate relationship processes (and vice versa). Emily’s research integrates these two important domains to show that (a) sexist attitudes have far-reaching effects on relationship functioning, and (b) relationship dynamics are fundamental to understanding women’s endorsement of sexist attitudes. For example, she investigates how hostile sexist attitudes impact aggressive and controlling responses within relationship initiation contexts, in ongoing established relationships, and during familial parent-child interactions. Her research also investigates how features of sexist attitudes are attractive and buffer relationship insecurities, including attachment insecurities, because they provide distinct gender roles that can offer security and protection to those who need it.

Emily adopts diverse methods to capture the interplay between social attitudes and relationship processes as they unfold over the course of social interaction and peoples’ lives. These methods include behavioural observation, daily diary and experience sampling methods, speed dating paradigms, and longitudinal designs to assess interpersonal processes as they naturally occur and influence people’s wellbeing and attitudes across time. These sophisticated methods are complimented by complex statistical techniques, such as multi-level and dyadic modelling (e.g. Actor-Partner-Independence Model and Social Relations Model) and structural equation modelling.

Teaching | Current

Emily is a senior tutor in the School of Psychology Emily currently teaches three courses

PSYCH 204 Social Psychology
PSYCH 311 Advanced Social Psychology
PSYCH 306 Research Methods in Psychology

Emily also lectures a component in PSYCH 204 Social Psychology.


University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship 2015           
Kate Edgar Masters Award 2014                                                                                
Auckland University Masters of Science Award 2014                     

Areas of expertise

Romantic and Close Relationships, Interpersonal Processes, Sexist Attitudes, Power Dynamics, Attachment Insecurities, Social Psychology.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Cross, E. J., Overall, N. C., & Hammond, M. D. (2016). Perceiving Partners to Endorse Benevolent Sexism Attenuates Highly Anxious Women's Negative Reactions to Conflict. null. null.10.1177/0146167216647933
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/24915
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nickola Overall
  • Hammond, M. D., Overall, N. C., & Cross, E. J. (2016). Internalizing sexism within close relationships: Perceptions of intimate partners' benevolent sexism promote women's endorsement of benevolent sexism. Journal of personality and social psychology, 110 (2), 214-238. 10.1037/pspi0000043
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nickola Overall