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A majority of my work examines self-expansion, a motivation to enhance the self’s capabilities through the accumulation of knowledge, experience, identity and other resources, largely through relationships. Thus, my research program examines self-expansion and self processes in several facets of relationships: relationship initiation, attraction, relationship maintenance, susceptibility to infidelity, and break-up. 

Dr. Lewandowski discusses self-expansion with the Millionaire Matchmaker.

Relationship Processes

Other relationship research focuses on how learning about someone’s personality influences perceptions of their physical attractiveness, the experience of personal growth and positive outcomes following relationship dissolution, including strategies to promote positive outcomes. 

Selected Articles (*=Undergraduate Co-Author)

  • Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., Mattingly, B. A., & Pedreiro, A.* (2014). Under pressure: The effects of stress on positive and negative relationship behaviors. Journal of Social Psychology, 154, 463-473. doi: 10.1080/00224545.2014.933162

  • Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., & Nardone, N.* (2012). Self-concept clarity's role in self-other agreement and the accuracy of behavioral prediction. Self and Identity, 11, 71-89. doi: 10.1080/15298868.2010.512133

  • Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., Ciarocco, N., Pettenato, M.*, & Stephan, J.* (2012). Pick me up: Ego depletion and depletion and receptivity to relationship initiation. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 29, 1071-1084. doi: 10.1177/0265407512449401

  • Lewandowski, G. W., Jr. (2009). Promoting positive emotions following relationship dissolution through writing. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(1), 21-31. doi:10.1080/17439760802068480

Self & Identity

Another major line of research focuses on self-processes. Specifically I have focused on the benefits of self-concept clarity, or how clearly and confidently one defines the self, on how accurately a person's knows their self. The main line of inquiry, however, explores the nature and benefits of self-expansion outside of relationships. These benefits include increased effort, increased self-efficacy, and increased job satisfaction and commitment. 

Selected Articles (*=Undergraduate Co-Author)

  • McIntyre, K. P., Mattingly, B. A., Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., & Simpson, A.* (2015). When “we” changes “me”: The two-dimensional model of relational self-change and relationship outcomes. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 32, 857–878. doi: 10.1177/0265407514553334.

  • McIntyre, K. P., Mattingly, B. A., Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., & Simpson, A.* (2014). Workplace self-expansion: Implications for job satisfaction, commitment, self-concept clarity and self-esteem among the employed and unemployed. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 36, 59-69. doi:  10.1080/01973533.2013.856788

  • Mattingly, B. A., & Lewandowski, G. W., Jr. (2013). An expanded self is a more capable self: The association between self-concept size and self-efficacy. Self and Identity, 12, 621-634.. doi:10.1080/15298868.2012.718863

  • Mattingly, B. A., & Lewandowski, G. W., Jr. (2013). The power of one: Benefits of individual self-expansion. Journal of Positive Psychology, 8, 12-22. doi: 10.1080/17439760.2012.746999 

Research Assistants

Brittany D'Annunzio

Lab Director

Brittany is a senior. Her main interests within psychology include relationships, positive psychology, trauma and addiction. After earning her undergraduate degree in psychology, Brittany plans on getting her PhD in psychology.

Elizabeth Roderick

Liz is a junior and her main interests of study are how relationships affect the self, and social influence. She hopes to one day add to the literature concerning the formation of the self. Liz also plans to attend graduate school upon her completion of undergraduate study.

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Lab Alumni

2003  Crystal White MS, LPC  Case Manager I/Intake Worker at Monmouth Medical Center

2005  Robert Ackerman  Ph.D. Michigan State University; Assistant Professor U-Texas Dallas

2005  Lynne (Canberg) Fasanella  Masters Marriage Family Therapy Drexel U, Master's Nutrition Montclair State U

2005  Rebecca (Hampson) McFadden  Assistant Vice President, Learning at L'Oréal USA

2005  Dani Faith Sahner  Law School, Boston University

2006  Nikki (DiBenedetto) Bizzoco Ph.D. Political Science Rutgers University

2006  Kathrine Evans-Giampapa  Masters, Marriage Family Therapy Drexel University, Therapist/Supervisor at Robins' Nest Inc.

2007  Samantha Harrington  Masters Forensic Psychology John Jay College

2007  Lauren Korcz  Master’s, Sport and Exercise Psychology, Barry University

2007  Natalie Nardone  Ph.D., Social Psychology, Stony Brook University; Project Manager at UCSF

2007  Alanna Raines  Master's Columbia University

2007  Tara Scarponi  MBA, Management & Entrepreneurial Studies Farleigh Dickinson University

2008  Leigh-Ann Javas  Master's Social Work San Diego State University

2008  Erin Sammon  Master’s, Alcohol & Drug Abuse, Kean University

2008  Fortune Shababo  Master's, Psychological Counseling, Columbia University

2008  Susan (St Amour) Orecchio  Master's The College of New Jersey, Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs TCNJ 

2009  Leilani Chin  Buyer at HBO

2009  Jessica Stephan  Master’s, School Psychology, Georgian Court University

2010  Michele Petenatto  Master's, Psychological Counseling, Monmouth University

2010  Kaitlin Weldon  Psy.D., Immaculate University, Mental health therapist at Moorestown VNA and hospice

2011  Emma Higgins  Psy.D., Immaculata University

2011  Stephanie Kocsik  Master's Oxford University; Lab Manager Stanford University

2011  Gina Radice  Psy.D., Xavier University

2012  Jackie Abate  Psy.D., University of Indianapolis

2012  Miranda Bobrowski  Ph.D., University of Buffalo

2013  Victoria Drake  Analyst, Digital Ad Sales Research, Nickelodeon/Viacom; Master's New York University

2013  Jeff Viaud  Ph.D., University of Memphis

2014  Amanda Branick  Protocol and Data Management Coordinator Naval Medical Center San Diego

2014  Veronica Ozog  Master's, Columbia University, Ph.D. Adelphi University

2014  Colleen Thomas  Associate Scientist, L'Oreal USA; Master's University of South Carolina

2015  Lauren Acri  Masters, Social Psychology, New York University

2016  Erin Hughes  Masters, Social Psychology, Villanova University; Ph.D. Northeastern University


Gary W. Lewandowski Jr. Ph.D.


Department of Psychology

Monmouth University

West Long Branch, NJ 07764

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​© 2021 by Gary W. Lewandowski Jr.  NY United States