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Mark R. Leary, Garonzik Family Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience and Director of the Interdisciplinary Behavioral Research Center

Mark R. Leary
Contact Info:
Office Location:  306 Soc/Psych, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-5750
Email Address:   send me a message
Web Page:


Ph.D.University of Florida1980
M.A.University of Florida1978
B.A.West Virginia Wesleyan College1976

Social Psychology
Research Interests: Social and Personality Psychology

At the most general level, my interests are in social and personality psychology, centering around topics involving self-awareness, interpersonal motivation and emotion, and interfaces of social and clinical psychology. I have been particularly interested in how people's behavior and emotion are affected by (a) their concerns about others' impressions, evaluations, and acceptance of them and (b) the ways in which they talk to themselves in their own minds. In the first vein, we have been investigating the fundamental human need for acceptance and belonging, how people go about seeking acceptance, and the emotional and interpersonal consequences of feeling inadequately accepted. In the second vein, we are studying the negative effects of excessive ego-involvement on emotion, performance, and interpersonal behavior, and the efficacy of hypo-egoic states in which people's egos exert minimal influence on their thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

Areas of Interest:

Social emotions
Interpersonal rejection
Impression management
Deleterious effects of ego-involvement

Curriculum Vitae
Postdocs Mentored

  • Stephan Horvath (2010-2012)
  • Meredith Terry (2008/07-present)
Recent Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. Kowalski, RM; Leary, M; Hendley, T; Rubley, K; Chapman, C; Chitty, H; Carroll, H; Cook, A; Richardson, E; Robbins, C; Wells, S; Bourque, L; Oakley, R; Bednar, H; Jones, R; Tolleson, K; Fisher, K; Graham, R; Scarborough, M; Welsh, SA; Longacre, M (2021). K-12, college/university, and mass shootings: similarities and differences.. The Journal of Social Psychology, 161(6), 753-778. [doi]  [abs]
  2. Rosenfeld, DL; Balcetis, E; Bastian, B; Berkman, ET; Bosson, JK; Brannon, TN; Burrow, AL; Cameron, CD; Chen, S; Cook, JE; Crandall, C; Davidai, S; Dhont, K; Eastwick, PW; Gaither, SE; Gangestad, SW; Gilovich, T; Gray, K; Haines, EL; Haselton, MG; Haslam, N; Hodson, G; Hogg, MA; Hornsey, MJ; Huo, YJ; Joel, S; Kachanoff, FJ; Kraft-Todd, G; Leary, MR; Ledgerwood, A; Lee, RT; Loughnan, S; MacInnis, CC; Mann, T; Murray, DR; Parkinson, C; PĂ©rez, EO; Pyszczynski, T; Ratner, K; Rothgerber, H; Rounds, JD; Schaller, M; Silver, RC; Spellman, BA; Strohminger, N; Swim, JK; Thoemmes, F; Urganci, B; Vandello, JA; Volz, S; Zayas, V; Tomiyama, AJ (2021). Psychological Science in the Wake of COVID-19: Social, Methodological, and Metascientific Considerations.. Perspectives on Psychological Science : a Journal of the Association for Psychological Science, 1745691621999374. [doi]  [abs]
  3. Kiknadze, NC; Leary, MR (2021). Comfort zone orientation: Individual differences in the motivation to move beyond one's comfort zone. Personality and Individual Differences, 181. [doi]  [abs]
  4. Bedrov, A; Leary, MR (2021). What you don't know might hurt me: Keeping secrets in interpersonal relationships. Personal Relationships, 28(3), 495-520. [doi]  [abs]
  5. Allen, K-A; Gray, DL; Baumeister, RF; Leary, MR (2021). The Need to Belong: a Deep Dive into the Origins, Implications, and Future of a Foundational Construct.. Educational Psychology Review, 1-24. [doi]  [abs]

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