Paula Pietromonaco, Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences, has been selected for the 2019 Service to the Field Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). She will accept the award during a ceremony at the 2020 SPSP Convention in February.
“The SPSP Service to the Field Award on behalf of Personality and Social Psychology, is for distinguished efforts by individuals to benefit the field of social and personality psychology generally. These efforts may involve activities to support educational and research activities in the field, professional leadership, and achievements that enhance the reputation of the field. The Society recognizes the diversity of activities that may merit this award.”
Pietromonaco’s research focuses on how basic psychological processes that arise in the context of people's close relationships such as dating and marital relationships might impact relationship outcomes as well as emotional and physical health over time. She investigates relationship processes using a variety of methods including examining people's subjective perceptions, the speed of their responses (reaction time), physiological responses (e.g., cortisol reactivity), and behavior (e.g., during interactions with their partners).
Pietromonaco led a significant longitudinal study, the Growth in Early Marriage Project (GEM), along with PBS faculty member Sally Powers. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, concentrated on newlywed couples in Western Massachusetts. The researchers investigated how couples change over time and how close relationships affect health.
Pietromonaco has served as a SPSP Executive Board Member and SPSP (Division 8) Representative to the American Psychological Association (APA) Council of Representatives. She has also aided the Society of Experimental Social Psychology as an Executive Committee Officer. Other notable positions held by Pietromonaco include previous Associate Editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes, and current Editor of the APA journal Emotion.