Carol Wilson is a social psychologist who received her PhD and MS degrees in psychology from Texas A&M University. Prior to coming to Penn State Erie, she taught and conducted research at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. Dr. Wilson also has a BS degree in chemical engineering from Virginia Tech and 8 years of work experience in the chemical manufacturing industry.
Dr. Wilson’s research interests include romantic relationships, attachment theory, social support, pain, the transition to parenthood, and relationship-based memory. She investigates how romantic partners perceive and influence each other in relationship contexts, particularly those involving a stressor (e.g., first-time parenthood), and the implications this may have for future outcomes such as relationship satisfaction and stability. Her research employs a multi-method approach in which participants’ self-reported survey data is supplemented with behavioral observation and physiological measures (e.g., heart rate, skin conductance) whenever possible. Currently she is conducting research with Penn State psychology students to examine: (1) how individuals cope with and remember physical pain as a function of personality, social support, and romantic relationship expectations, and (2) the impact of monetary discussions on romantic couples’ interpersonal sensitivity and dyadic behavior.