Department of Human Ecology
1824 South I.H. 35 #243
Ph.D. Program in Human Development, University of Texas at Austin.
Expected date of completion: May 15, 2002.
Thesis: Romantic idealization in marital relationships: A 13 year longitudinal study.
Advisor: Ted L. Huston
BA University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 1996.
Major: Honors Psychology
Minor: Religious Studies
Thesis: The Evolution of Trust in Marital Relationships: A Longitudinal Study.
Advisor: John K. Rempel
Awards and Fellowships
Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship Tuition Scholarship, University of Waterloo, 1992-95.
Pre-emptive Recruitment Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin, 1998-99.
In general, my research focuses on the contribution of different types of cognitive distortion to the development of dating and marital relationships. Basically, I am interested in how peopleís tendency to see the best in an intimate partner can contribute to the success of their relationships over time.
While I was an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo, my research dealt with the effect of attributional generosity on interpersonal trust in marital relationships. As a result of this research, I was able to determine that the cognitive spin that people put on their partnerís behavior in conflict situations is a more powerful cross sectional and longitudinal predictor of marital trust than the actual behavior itself.
Since becoming a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, my research has primarily dealt with the effect of peopleís tendency to idealize their partner on marital quality and stability. To a lesser extent, it has also dealt with the development of commitment in dating relationships.
Beyond these theoretical pursuits, I also have a strong interest in research methods and statistics. For the most part, I am interested in learning techniques for the study of developmental change in close relationships. I am also interested in learning techniques for dealing with missing data in longitudinal studies. So far, I have learned a number of conventional analyses, such as SEM and HLM. In the future, I plan to learn some less conventional techniques, such as non-linear dynamical systems analysis (NDS).
Miller, P.J. & Rempel, J.K. (In progress). The evolution of trust in marital relationships: A longitudinal study.
Miller, P.J. & Huston, T.L. (In progress). Personality, interpersonal generosity, and satisfaction in marital relationships: A 13-year longitudinal study.
Miller, P.J. and Huston, T.L. (In progress). Trajectories for socioemotional behavior and ratings of partner traits in marital relationships: A 13-year longitudinal study.
Miller, P.J. & Huston, T.L. (In progress). Romantic idealization in marital relationships: A 13-year longitudinal study.
Surra, C.A. & Miller, P.J. (In progress). Accuracy of retrospective accounts of commitment development during courtship.
Surra, C.A. & Miller, P.J. (In progress) Memory biases in retrospective accounts of commitment development during courtship.
Surra, C.A., Miller, P.J. and Harmell, K.L. (1999). Connections
between the formation and outcomes of commitment to marriage. Presented at
the November 1999 Conference of the National Council on Family Relations,
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