Christopher R. Agnew

Degree: Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Christopher R. Agnew is Professor of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. He received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research focuses on close, interpersonal relationships and the use of relational models to understand broader social and health processes. He has published and presented his research widely, and has received funding from federal agencies (e.g., National Institutes of Health), private foundations (e.g., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) and corporations (e.g., Facebook). Dr. Agnew has served on the editorial boards for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and Personal Relationships, and as General Editor of the Cambridge University Press book series Advances in Personal Relationships. He was the recipient of the Early Career Award from the Relationships Researchers Interest Group of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, American Psychological Association, International Association for Relationship Research, Midwestern Psychological Association, the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. He served as President of the International Association for Relationship Research. Dr. Agnew served as Head of Psychological Sciences at Purdue from 2009 to 2017 and as Associate Vice President for Research for Purdue University from 2017 to 2022.

Research Interests:

Interpersonal relationships, including timing, commitment processes, dissolution processes, social network interactions and influence, and interfaces with technology.

Representative Publications:

Agnew, C. R., Carter, J. J., & Imami, L. (in press). Forming meaningful connections between strangers in virtual reality: Comparing affiliative outcomes by interaction modality. Technology, Mind, and Behavior.

Brady, A., Baker, L. R., Agnew, C. R., & Hadden, B. W. (in press). Playing the field or locking down a partner? Perceptions of available romantic partners and commitment readiness. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Imami, L., & Agnew, C. R. (in press). Relationship maintenance in older adults: Considering social and evolutionary psychological perspectives. In J. Mogilski & T. Shackelford (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology and Romantic Relationships. New York: Oxford University Press.

Karantzas, G. C., Feeney, J. A., Agnew, C. R., Christensen, A., Cutrona, C. E., Doss, B. D., Eckhardt, C. I., Russell, D. W., & Simpson, J. A. (2022). Dealing with loss in the face of disasters and crises: Integrating interpersonal theories of couple adaptation and functioning. Current Opinion in Psychology, 43, 129-138.

Sawicki, V. & Agnew, C. R. (2021). Commitment strength versus commitment bolstering: Uncertainty undermines and promotes relationship success. The Journal of Social Psychology, 161, 47-62.

Agnew, C. R., Hadden, B. W., & Tan, K. (2020). Relationship receptivity theory: Timing and interdependent relationships. In L. V. Machia, C. R. Agnew, & X. B. Arriaga (Eds.), Interdependence, interaction, and relationships (pp.269-292). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Machia, L. V., Agnew, C. R., & Arriaga, X. B. (Eds.) (2020). Interdependence, interaction, and relationships. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Tan, K., Agnew, C. R., & Hadden, B. W. (2020). Seeking and ensuring interdependence: Desiring commitment and the strategic initiation and maintenance of close relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 46, 36-50.

Agnew, C. R., Hadden, B. W., & Tan, K. (2019). It’s about time: Readiness, commitment and stability in close relationships. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 10, 1046-1055.

Agnew, C. R., & Harman, J. J. (Eds.) (2019). Power in close relationships. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Hadden, B. W., Harvey, S. M., Settersten, R. A., Jr., & Agnew, C. R. (2019). What do I call us? The Investment Model of Commitment Processes and changes in relationship categorization. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 10, 235-243.

Agnew, C. R., & VanderDrift, L. E. (2018). Commitment processes in personal relationship. In A. L. Vangelisti & D. Perlman (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of personal relationships, 2ndEdition (pp.437-448). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 

Hadden, B. W., Agnew, C. R.., & Tan, K. (2018). Commitment readiness and relationship formation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44, 1242-1257.

Tan, K., Arriaga, X. B., & Agnew, C. R. (2018). Running on empty: Measuring psychological dependence in close relationships lacking satisfaction. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 35, 977-998.

Agnew, C. R., Harvey, S. M., VanderDrift, L. E., & Warren, J. (2017). Relational underpinnings of condom use: Findings from the Project on Partner Dynamics. Health Psychology, 36, 713-720.

Goodfriend, W., Agnew, C. R., & Cathey, P. L. (2017). Understanding commitment and partner-serving biases in close relationships. In J. Fitzgerald (Ed.), Foundations for couples’ therapy: Research for the real world (pp. 51-60). New York: Routledge.

VanderDrift, L. E., Agnew, C. R., & Besikci, E. (2017).  Friendship and romance: A need-fulfillment perspective. In M. Hojjat & A. Moyer (Eds.), The psychology of friendship (pp. 106-121). New York: Oxford University Press.

Besikci, E., Agnew, C. R., & Yildirim, A. (2016). It’s my partner, deal with it: Rejection sensitivity, normative beliefs, and commitment. Personal Relationships, 23, 384-395.

Etcheverry, P. E., & Agnew, C. R. (2016). Predictors of motivation to comply with social referents regarding one’s romantic relationship. Personal Relationships, 23, 214-233. 

Tan, K., & Agnew, C. R. (2016). Ease of retrieval effects on relationship commitment: The role of future plans. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 42, 161-171.

Agnew, C. R., & VanderDrift, L. E. (2015). Relationship maintenance and dissolution. In M. Mikulincer & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), APA handbook of personality and social psychology: Vol. 3. Interpersonal relations (pp. 581-604)Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Tan, K., Agnew, C. R., VanderDrift, L. E., & Harvey, S. M. (2015). Committed to us: Predicting relationship closeness following non-marital romantic relationship breakup. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 32, 456-471.

Tan, K., See, H. Y. M., & Agnew, C. R. (2015). Partner’s understanding of affective-cognitive meta-bases predicts relationship quality. Personal Relationships, 22, 524-535.

Agnew, C. R. (Ed.) (2014). Social influences on romantic relationships: Beyond the dyad. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Agnew, C. R. & South, S. C. (Eds.) (2014). Interpersonal relationships and health: Social and clinical psychological mechanisms. New York: Oxford University Press.

VanderDrift, L. E., & Agnew, C. R. (2014). Relational consequences of personal goal pursuits. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 927-940. 

Graduate Student and Postdoc Team Members (Past & Present):

Tim Loving (Meta)

Ben Le (Haverford College)

Wind Goodfriend (Buena Vista University)

Paul Etcheverry (Meta)

Justin Lehmiller (The Kinsey Institute)

Candace Best (Augusta University)

Laura VanderDrift Machia (Syracuse University)

Kenneth Tan (Singapore Management University)

Ezgi Besikci (Usak University)

Yuthika Girme (Simon Fraser University)

Benjamin Hadden (Meta)

Juwon Lee (Meta)

Ledina Imami (Wabash College)

Yuchen Li (began PhD program in Fall 2021)

Christopher R. Agnew

Professor, Social Psychology
Courtesy appointments:
Professor of Communication 
Professor of Political Science 


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