I am a social psychologist in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, where I teach and conduct research in the areas of relationships, prejudice, and sexuality. I also run a popular blog entitled "Sex and Psychology" designed to present the science of sex, love, and relationships in an engaging and accessible way.
To date, I have published over 30 scholarly works, which includes several articles published in the leading journals on sex and relationships, multiple book chapters, and two textbooks. Most of my research publications fall into one of two areas. One of these areas examines commitment to interpersonal relationships, including both romantic relationships as well as casual sexual relationships (e.g., "friends with benefits"). I am interested in the factors that influence how commitment to these relationships develops and changes over time, as well as the consequences of commitment for the health and well-being of the partners involved. My other main area of research concerns prejudice and discrimination, especially as they pertain to sexuality and relationships. My recent work on this topic has focused on how perceptions of bias against one's sexual orientation and relationship status influence physical and psychological well-being and engagement in risky health behaviors. Across all of this work, my goal is to conduct theoretically grounded research that has the potential to address important social problems.
My research has been featured prominently in numerous media outlets, including the Huffington Post, Psychology Today, Men’s Health, The Globe and Mail, and The Sunday Times. I have also appeared on a few episodes of the television program Taboo (produced by National Geographic) to talk about the science of sex and relationships.
- Applied Social Psychology
- Close Relationships
- Gender Psychology
- Health Psychology
- Intergroup Relations
- Prejudice and Stereotyping
- Sexuality, Sexual Orientation
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- Harman, J. J., & Lehmiller, J. J. (2012). A social psychology research experience. San Diego, CA: Cognella.
- Lehmiller, J. J. (2014). The psychology of human sexuality. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Agnew, C. R., Hoffman, A. M., Lehmiller, J. J., & Duncan, N. T. (2007). From the interpersonal to the international: Understanding commitment to the "War on Terror." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 1559-1571.
- Hoffman, A. M., Agnew, C. R., Lehmiller, J. J., & Duncan, N. T. (2009). Satisfaction, alternatives, investments, and the microfoundations of audience cost models. International Interactions, 35, 365-389.
- Lehmiller, J. J. (2012). Perceived marginalization and its association with physical and psychological health. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 29, 451-469.
- Lehmiller, J. J. (2010). Differences in relationship investments between gay and heterosexual men. Personal Relationships, 17, 81-96.
- Lehmiller, J. J. (2009). Secret romantic relationships: Consequences for personal and relational well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 1452-1466.
- Lehmiller, J. J., & Agnew, C. R. (2008). Commitment in age-gap heterosexual romantic relationships: A test of evolutionary and socio-cultural predictions. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 32, 74-82.
- Lehmiller, J. J., & Agnew, C. R. (2007). Perceived marginalization and the prediction of romantic relationship stability. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69, 1036-1049.
- Lehmiller, J. J., & Agnew, C. R. (2006). Marginalized relationships: The impact of social disapproval on romantic relationship commitment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 40-51.
- Lehmiller, J. J., & Konkel, K. E. (2013). Commitment to the GLBT community: An investment model analysis of its antecedents and consequences. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43(6), 1301-1312.
- Lehmiller, J. J., Law, A. T., & Tormala, T. T. (2010). The effect of self-affirmation on sexual prejudice. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 276-285.
- Lehmiller, J. J., & Schmitt, M. T. (2008). Intergroup attitudes and values in response to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 14, 259-274.
- Lehmiller, J. J., & Schmitt, M. T. (2007). Group domination and inequality in context: Evidence for the unstable meanings of social dominance and authoritarianism. European Journal of Social Psychology, 37, 704-724.
- Lehmiller, J. J., VanderDrift, L. E., & Kelly, J. R. (2014). Sexual communication, satisfaction, and condom use behavior in friends with benefits and romantic partners. The Journal of Sex Research, 51, 74-85.
- Lehmiller, J. J., VanderDrift, L. E., & Kelly J. R. (2011). Sex differences in approaching friends with benefits relationships. The Journal of Sex Research, 48, 275-284.
- Schmitt, M. T., Lehmiller, J. J., & Walsh, A. L. (2007). The role of heterosexual identity threat in differential support for same-sex "civil unions" versus "marriages." Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 10, 443-455.
- VanderDrift, L. E., Lehmiller, J. J., & Kelly J. R. (2012). Commitment in friends with benefits relationships: Implications for relational and safer sex outcomes. Personal Relationships, 19, 1-13.
- Lehmiller, J. J., & Agnew, C. A. (2010). May-December paradoxes: An exploration of age-gap relationships in Western society. In W. R. Cupach & B. H. Spitzberg (Eds.), The dark side of close relationships II (pp. 39-61). New York, NY: Routledge.
- Lehmiller, J. J., & Konkel, K. E. (2012). Prejudice and discrimination in relational contexts. In M. Paludi (Ed.), The psychology of love (Vol. 2, pp. 75-87). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.
- Health Psychology
- Human Sexuality
- Intergroup Relations and Processes
- Psychology of Sexual Orientation
- Research Methods
- Social Psychology
Justin J. Lehmiller
Department of Psychology
33 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138