Miss Emily Jane Cross

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

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Research Technician


I started my PhD mid-2015 after completing her Bachelors (Double Major Psychology and Politics), Honours (First Class Honours, Psychology) and Masters of Science (First Class Honours, Psychology) in the REACH Lab (Researching Emotions, Attachment, Close Relationships and Health).



Research | Current

My primary areas of research focus are 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). My 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, I investigate how hostile sexist attitudes impact aggressive and controlling responses within relationship initiation contexts, in ongoing established relationships, and during familial parent-child interactions. My 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.

I adopt 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.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Nickola Overall (Primary)

Dr Danny Osborne (Secondary)


Steve Duck New Scholars Award (2018)

Society of Australasian Social Psychology Runner-up Outstanding Postgraduate Award (2018)

The University of Auckland PhD Leadership Award (2018)

University of Auckland Academic Career Exploration Award (2017)        

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)

  • 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
  • Cross, E. J. (2015). Perceiving Partners to Endorse Benevolent Sexism Attenuates Highly Anxious Women’s Negative Reactions to Conflict The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/24915
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nickola Overall

Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 301 - Bldg 301
Level 2, Room 235
New Zealand

Web links