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Benjamin R. Karney

Benjamin R. Karney

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Benjamin Karney is a Professor of Social Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an adjunct behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. He is an expert on interpersonal relationships, especially marriage, and has done extensive research on how relationship processes and interactions are constrained or enhanced by the contexts in which they take place. Currently this includes research on marriages in the military and in low-income populations. Before returning to Los Angeles, he served as a tenured member of the faculty of the psychology department at the University of Florida, where his research examined change and stability in early marriage, focusing on the processes through which initially satisfying marriages either remain satisfying or deteriorate over time.

Professor Karney has been the director and principle investigator of the Florida Project on Newlywed Marriage and Adult Development (FPNMAD), a series of longitudinal studies of the first years of marriage, and in 2003, he conducted the baseline survey of marriage and families for the state of Florida as part of their initiative to strengthen families. He is also an expert consultant for the Strengthening Healthy Marriage project, an 8-year national experimental study of marital interventions for low-income populations, sponsored by the Administration on Children and Families. He has twice been the recipient of the National Council on Family Relation’s Reuben Hill Research and Theory Award for outstanding contributions to family science.

Primary Interests:

  • Aggression, Conflict, Peace
  • Causal Attribution
  • Close Relationships
  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Social Cognition

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Journal Articles:

  • Frye, N. E., & Karney, B. R. (2002). Being better or getting better? Social and temporal comparisons as coping mechanisms in close relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1287-1299.
  • Karney, B. R., & Bradbury, T. N. (2000). Attributions in marriage: State or trait? A growth curve analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 295-309.
  • Karney, B. R., & Bradbury, T. N. (1997). Neuroticism, marital interaction, and the trajectory of marital satisfaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 1075-1092.
  • Karney, B. R., & Bradbury, T. N. (1995) The longitudinal course of marital quality and stability: A review of theory, method, and research. Psychological Bulletin, 118, 3-34.
  • Karney, B. R., & Coombs, R. H. (2000). Memory bias in long-term close relationships: Consistency or improvement? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 959-970.
  • Karney, B. R., & Frye, N. E. (2002). "But we've been getting better lately": Comparing prospective and retrospective views of relationship development. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 222-238.
  • Karney, B. R., & Gauer, B. (2010). Cognitive complexity and marital interaction in newlyweds. Personal Relationships, 17, 181-200.
  • McNulty, J. K., & Karney, B. R. (in press). Attributions in marriage: Integrating specific and global evaluations of a relationship. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
  • McNulty, J. K., & Karney, B. R. (2002). Expectancy confirmation in appraisals of marital interactions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 764-775.
  • Neff, L. A., & Karney, B. R. (2009). Stress and reactivity to daily relationship experiences: How stress hinders adaptive processes in marriage. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 435-450.
  • Neff, L. A., & Karney, B. R. (2004). How does context affect intimate relationships? Linking external stress and cognitive processes within marriage. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 134-148.
  • Neff, L. A., & Karney, B. R. (2003). The dynamic structure of relationship beliefs: Differential importance as a strategy of relationship maintenance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1433-1446.
  • Neff, L. A., & Karney, B. R. (2002). Person perception in close relationships: Specific accuracy but global enhancement. Journal of Personality, 70, 1077-1110.

Other Publications:

  • Karney, B. R., McNulty, J. K., & Bradbury, T. N. (2000). Cognition and the development of close relationships. In Clark, M. S. & Fletcher, G. J. O. (Eds.), Blackwell Handbook of Social Psychology, Vol. 2: Interpersonal Processes (pp. 32-59). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Limited.

Courses Taught:

  • Interdisciplinary Relationship Science (graduate seminar)
  • Introduction to Social Psychology
  • The Psychology of Intimate Relationships
  • Topics in Social Psychology (graduate seminar)

Benjamin R. Karney
Department of Psychology
1285 Franz Hall, UCLA
P.O. Box 951563
Los Angeles, California 90095-1563
United States of America

  • Phone: (310) 206-3925
  • Fax: (310) 206-5895

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