Samantha Joel is joining the Department of Psychology as Assistant Professor, in July 2018.
Joel completed a PhD at the University of Toronto followed by a SSHRC-supported postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin.
Joel’s research focuses on romantic relationships and the decision making processes in relationships.
“Every long-term romantic relationship is the result of two people who consistently chose to pursue, advance, and maintain that particular relationship,” said Joel. “What motivates a person to ask someone out on a date, move in with a new partner, or persevere with a struggling relationship? I'm interested not just in the decisions that people arrive at, but also how they arrive at them, and whether certain decision strategies might ultimately lead to better relationship outcomes than others.”
In her most recent publication, Joel and colleagues showed that people will stay in relatively unfulfilling relationships for the sake of the romantic partner. Across two longitudinal studies, the researchers found that people are reluctant to break up with highly dependent romantic partners, even if their own relationship satisfaction and commitment are relatively low.
Joel is excited to join the Department of Psychology at Western and continue collaborative work in the field.
"I'm very excited about the high concentration of relationships and sexuality researchers at Western and in Southern Ontario more broadly, as well as the department's emphasis on advanced statistics and embracing of open science initiatives,” said Joel. “I can't wait to arrive and get to know my colleagues."