Dr Nickola Christine Overall


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Nickola Overall is a Professor in the School of Psychology. Nickola's research examines how to overcome emotional, attachment and relationship difficulties to build healthy relationships and enhance wellbeing. See below for more information on Nickola's research and teaching.

Research | Current

Social relationships have a powerful impact on psychological and physical wellbeing. Nickola's research focuses on how to overcome emotional, attachment and relationship difficulties to build healthy relationships and personal wellbeing. For example, Nickola investigates how couples and families can effectively resolve conflict and support each other to enhance relationship success and maintain health and wellbeing. Nickola also examines the factors that influence these important processes, such as biased perceptions, depressive symptoms, attachment insecurity, power and sexist attitudes. Read more about Nickola's research programs here: http://relationships.auckland.ac.nz/

Teaching | Current

Nickola contributes to two undergraduate courses in social psychology (PSYCH 204 and PSYCH 311), teaches a postgraduate course in social psychology and interpersonal processes (PSYCH 716), and has a large team of research students. For more information on working in the REACH Lab click the link below and/or contact Nickola. Also read more about Nickola's research programs and students here: http://relationships.auckland.ac.nz/


  • University of Auckland Research Excellence Award (NZAVS Research Team), 2017
  • Dean's Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervision, 2016
  • Gerald R. Miller Award for Early Career Achievement, International Association of Relationship Research, 2016
  • Fellow, Association of Psychological Science, 2015
  • Caryl Rusbult Close Relationships Early Career Award, Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 2014
  • Fellow, Society of Personality and Social Psychology, 2014
  • Dean's Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching, 2013
  • Identified as ‘Rising Star’, Association for Psychological Science, 2011
  • Fellow, Society of Experimental Social Psychology, 2010
  • University of Auckland Early Career Excellence Award, 2010

Areas of expertise

Social Psychology, Close Relationships, Interpersonal Influence, Communication, Conflict, Support, Attachment, Interpersonal Perceptions, Emotion Regulation, Power 

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
  • Consulting Editor, Social Psychological and Personality Science, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Personal Relationships, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Pietromonaco, P. R., & Overall, N. C. (2020). Applying relationship science to evaluate how the COVID-19 pandemic may impact couples' relationships. The American psychologist10.1037/amp0000714
  • Overall, N. C. (2020). Behavioral variability reduces the harmful longitudinal effects of partners' negative-direct behavior on relationship problems. Journal of personality and social psychology10.1037/pspi0000231
  • Low, R. S. T., Overall, N. C., Cross, E. J., & Henderson, A. M. E. (2019). Emotion regulation, conflict resolution, and spillover on subsequent family functioning. Emotion (Washington, D.C.), 19 (7), 1162-1182. 10.1037/emo0000519
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rachel Low, Annette Henderson
  • Cross, E. J., Overall, N. C., Low, R. S. T., & McNulty, J. K. (2019). An interdependence account of sexism and power: Men's hostile sexism, biased perceptions of low power, and relationship aggression. Journal of personality and social psychology, 117 (2), 338-363. 10.1037/pspi0000167
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rachel Low
  • Overall, N. C., & Hammond, M. D. (2018). How Intimate Relationships Contribute to Gender Inequality: Sexist Attitudes Encourage Women to Trade Off Career Success for Relationship Security. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 5 (1), 40-48. 10.1177/2372732217745096
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/41520
  • Hammond, M. D., & Overall, N. C. (2017). Dynamics Within Intimate Relationships and the Causes, Consequences, and Functions of Sexist Attitudes. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26 (2), 120-125. 10.1177/0963721416686213
  • Overall, N. C., & McNulty, J. K. (2017). What Type of Communication during Conflict is Beneficial for Intimate Relationships?. Current opinion in psychology, 13, 1-5. 10.1016/j.copsyc.2016.03.002
  • Overall, N. C. (2017). Does partners’ negative-direct communication during conflict help sustain perceived commitment and relationship quality across time?. Social Psychological and Personality Science10.1177/1948550617712030
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/42141


Contact details

Primary office location

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

Web links