Department of Psychology

Dr Madoka Kumashiro

Position held:

+44 (0)20 7919 7896

+44 (0)20 7919 7873

m.kumashiro (

Room 411 Whitehead Building,
Psychology Department,
Goldsmiths, University of London,
New Cross, SE14 6NW, UK

Summary of research

  • Social psychology and personality – “self” in interpersonal contexts;
  • close relationships and self-concept/motivation;
  • personality and interpersonal processes;
  • balancing personal and relational needs;
  • well-being;
  • applying above areas in areas such as in work or mentoring settings.

Academic qualifications


Areas of supervision

Available to supervise undergraduate, MSc and PhD students in any of the research areas listed on my 'research' tab or in related areas.

Research interests

My primary research interests concern "self processes" in interpersonal settings. Specifically, how do close relationships (e.g., family, friends, romantic partners) and other types of close interpersonal interactions (e.g., with managers, co-workers, mentors) influence personal growth and motivate individuals to achieve their most important goals, dreams, and aspirations? And how do self-relevant phenomena influence such interaction processes? Across these lines of research, I examine processes with implications for both personal well-being (e.g., subjective well-being, psychological health, personal growth) and relational well-being (e.g., dyadic adjustment and satisfaction and positive working relationships).

My current research focuses on four areas:

  1. Michelangelo Phenomenon: According to the sculptor Michelangelo, "ideal forms" slumber within blocks of marble; the sculptor's job is simply to chip away the excess stone in such a manner as to reveal the ideal form. Analogously, humans possess slumbering ideal forms – the ideal self to which each individual aspires. Comparable to blocks of stone, the ideal self often requires assistance in its efforts to emerge. This research examines the various ways in which close partners facilitate movement toward the ideal self, through examining different processes such as partner responsiveness, type of support provision, partner characteristics, and conflicting interests of the partners.
  2. Influence of individual differences on interpersonal processes: How do individual differences (e.g., self-respect, self-esteem, self-concept clarity, attachment styles, self-regulatory styles, and narcissism) affect behaviour toward interaction partners, which ultimately influence others' ability/motivation to support and affirm one's important goal pursuits. 
  3. Maintaining an equilibrium between personal and relational concerns: In romantic relationships, it is often difficult to simultaneously gratify important needs in two of the most powerful and central sources of human concerns: personal and relational. It is inevitable that individuals will sometimes confront the choice between engaging in behaviours that promote personal well-being (e.g., working long hours, spending time with friends) versus relational well-being (e.g., spending time together, supporting partner’s career aspirations). How individuals resolve such personal-relational conflicts may have important implications for both personal and relational well-being. The personal-relational equilibrium model predicts that individuals are motivated to regulate their behavior to maintain equilibrium between the personal and relational domains.
  4. Application of above research in work, educational, mentoring, or health settings: Applying above research areas to interpersonal interactions in work settings (e.g., with managers and co-workers; examining work-life balance; well-being at work and home), educational or mentoring settings (e.g., how do mentors enhance or hinder motivation and self-regulation toward important goals and help individuals set the right kind of goals), and health settings (e.g., effects of social support on motivation and well-being, especially in helping individuals overcome bad habits or maintain healthy behaviors).

Selected publications

Number of items: 29.


Arriaga, Ximena B., Kumashiro, Madoka, Finkel, Eli J., VanderDrift, Laura E. and Luchies, Laura B.. 2014. Filling the Void: Bolstering Attachment Security in Committed Relationships. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(4), pp. 398-406. ISSN 1948-5506 [Article]

Hui, Chin Ming, Finkel, Eli J., Fitzsimons, Gráinne, Kumashiro, Madoka and Hofmann, Wilhelm. 2014. The Manhattan effect: When relationship commitment fails to promote support for partners’ interests. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106(4), pp. 546-570. ISSN 0022-3514 [Article]

Bohns, Vanessa K., Lucas, Gale M., Molden, Daniel C., Finkel, Eli J., Coolsen, Michael K., Kumashiro, Madoka, Rusbult, Caryl E. and Higgins, E. Tory. 2013. Opposites Fit: Regulatory Focus Complementarity and Relationship Well-Being. Social Cognition, 31(1), pp. 1-14. ISSN 0278-016X [Article]

Luchies, Laura B., Wieselquist, Jennifer, Rusbult, Caryl E., Kumashiro, Madoka, Eastwick, Paul W., Coolsen, Michael K. and Finkel, Eli J.. 2013. Trust and biased memory of transgressions in romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104(4), pp. 673-694. ISSN 0022-3514 [Article]

Righetti, Francesca and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2012. Interpersonal goal support in achieving ideals and oughts: The role of dispositional regulatory focus. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(5), pp. 650-654. ISSN 01918869 [Article]

Hannon, Peggy, Finkel, Eli J., Kumashiro, Madoka and Rusbult, Caryl. 2012. The soothing effects of forgiveness on victims’ and perpetrators’ blood pressure. Personal Relationships, 19, pp. 279-289. ISSN 1350-4126 [Article]

Hannon, Peggy, Rusbult, Caryl, Finkel, Eli J. and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2010. In the wake of betrayal: Amends, forgiveness, and the resolution of betrayal. Personal Relationships, 17(2), pp. 253-278. ISSN 13504126 [Article]

Coolsen, Michael K., Kumashiro, Madoka and Quesenberry, Keith A.. 2010. Not just the best years of my life: personal growth in higher education. Journal of International Business Disciplines, 4(2), pp. 1-15. ISSN 1934-1814 [Article]

Luchies, Laura B., Finkel, Eli J., McNulty, James K. and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2010. The doormat effect: When forgiving erodes self-respect and self-concept clarity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(5), pp. 734-749. ISSN 0022-3514 [Article]

Rusbult, Caryl, Finkel, Eli J. and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2009. The Michelangelo phenomenon. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18(6), pp. 305-309. ISSN 09637214 [Article]

Finkel, Eli J., Campbell, Keith W., Buffardi, Laura E., Kumashiro, Madoka and Rusbult, Caryl. 2009. The metamorphosis of Narcissus: communal activation promotes relationship commitment among Narcissists. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(10), pp. 1271-1284. ISSN 0146-1672 [Article]

Molden, Daniel C., Lucas, Gale M. , Finkel, Eli J., Kumashiro, Madoka and Rusbult, Caryl. 2009. Perceived support for promotion-focused and prevention-focused goals: associations with well-being in unmarried and married couples. Psychological Science, 20(7), pp. 787-793. ISSN 0956-7976 [Article]

Rusbult, Caryl, Kumashiro, Madoka, Kubacka, Kaska E. and Finkel, Eli J.. 2009. "The part of me that you bring out": Ideal similarity and the Michelangelo phenomenon. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96(1), pp. 61-82. ISSN 0022-3514 [Article]

Coolsen, Michael K. and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2009. Self-image congruence models conceptualized as a product affirmation process. Advances in Consumer Research, 36, p. 980. ISSN 0098-9258 [Article]

Gregg, Aiden P. , Hart, Claire M., Sedikides, Constantine and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2008. Everyday conceptions of modesty: a prototype analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(7), pp. 978-992. ISSN 0146-1672 [Article]

Kumashiro, Madoka, Rusbult, Caryl and Finkel, Eli J.. 2008. Navigating personal and relational concerns: the quest for equilibrium. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(1), pp. 94-110. ISSN 0022-3514 [Article]

Kumashiro, Madoka, Rusbult, Caryl, Finkenauer, Catrin and Stocker, Shevaun L.. 2007. To think or to do: the impact of assessment and locomotion orientation on the Michelangelo phenomenon. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 24(4), pp. 591-611. ISSN 0265-4075 [Article]

Kumashiro, Madoka, Neiss, M., Stevenson, J. and Sedikides, C.. 2005. Executive self, self-esteem, and negative affectivity: Relations at the phenotypic and genotypic level. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89(4), pp. 593-606. ISSN 00223514 [Article]

Kumashiro, Madoka and Sedikides, C.. 2005. Taking on board liability-focused information: Close positive relationships as a self-bolstering resource. Psychological Science, 16(9), pp. 732-739. ISSN 09567976 [Article]

Sedikides, Constantine, Rudich, Eric A., Gregg, Aiden P. , Kumashiro, Madoka and Rusbult, Caryl. 2004. Are normal narcissists psychologically healthy? Self-esteem matters. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(3), pp. 400-416. ISSN 00223514 [Article]

Kumashiro, Madoka, Finkel, Eli J. and Rusbult, Caryl. 2002. Self-Respect and pro-relationship behavior in marital relationships. Journal of Personality, 70(6), pp. 1009-1050. ISSN 00223506 [Article]

Finkel, E., Rusbult, C., Kumashiro, Madoka and Hannon, P.. 2002. Dealing with betrayal in close relationships: Does commitment promote forgiveness of betrayal? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(6), pp. 956-974. ISSN 00223514 [Article]

Book Section

Kumashiro, Madoka. 2009. Responsiveness. In: Harry T. Reiss and Susan Sprecher, eds. Encyclopedia of human relationships. 3 Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Sage, pp. 1373-1376. ISBN 9781412958462 [Book Section]

Kumashiro, Madoka, Rusbult, Caryl, Wolff, Scott T. and Estrada , Marie-Joelle . 2006. The Michelangelo phenomenon: partner affirmation and self movement toward one's ideal. In: Kathleen D. Vohs and Eli J. Finkel , eds. Self and relationships: connecting intrapersonal and interpersonal processes. New York: Guildford Press, pp. 317-341. ISBN 978-1-59385-271-9 [Book Section]

Kumashiro, Madoka, Rusbult, Caryl, Wolff, Scott T. and Estrada , Marie-Joelle . 2004. The Michelangelo phenomenon in close relationships. In: Abraham Tesser, Joanne Wood and Diederik Stapel, eds. On building, defending, and regulating the self. New York and London: Psychology Press, pp. 1-29. ISBN 978-1-84169-405-4 [Book Section]

Rusbult, Caryl, Kumashiro, Madoka, Coolsen, Michael K. and Kirchner, J. . 2004. Interdependence, closeness and relationships. In: Deborah Mashek and Artur Aron, eds. The handbook of closeness and intimacy. New York: Psychology Press, pp. 137-161. ISBN 978-0-8058-4285-2 [Book Section]

Rusbult, Caryl, Kumashiro, Madoka, Finkel, Eli J. and Wildschut, Tim. 2002. The war of the roses: an interdependence analysis of betrayal and forgiveness. In: Patricia Noller and Judith A. Feeney, eds. Understanding marriage: developments in the study of couple interaction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 251-284. ISBN 9780521803700 [Book Section]

This list was generated on Sat Mar 28 01:44:13 2015 GMT.

Content last modified: 19 Dec 2013

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