Dr Madoka Kumashiro

Staff details

Position Reader
Department Psychology
Email m.kumashiro (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7896
Dr Madoka Kumashiro

Summary of research

I am a personality and social psychologist whose primary research interest is in the areas of personal growth and well-being. 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, social media network) influence personal growth, allow people to become closer to their ideal self, and motivate individuals to achieve their most important goals? And how does personality affect the ability to create an optimal environment for experiencing such personal growth? Finally, how do these processes then affect well-being?


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

Grants and Awards

Two-Way SBE-RCUK/ESRC Lead Agency Agreement (ES/N013182/1): Relationship Strategies to Bolster Interpersonal Security Over Time (Co-PI with Dr. Ximena Arriaga, Purdue University, USA). August 2015-July 2018.  $335,120 from NSF and £33,223 from ESRC.


Research Interests

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 various factors involving partner and target characteristics (e.g., various individual differences), goal characteristics (e.g., difficulty, importance, likelihood), and situational characteristics (e.g., conflicting interests).


Rusbult, C. E., Finkel, E. J., & Kumashiro, M. (2009). The Michelangelo Phenomenon. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18, 305-309.


2. Maintaining an equilibrium between personal and relational concerns: In close 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 on hobby) versus relational well-being (e.g., spending time together, supporting other’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.


Kumashiro, M., Rusbult, C. E., & Finkel, E. J. (2008). Navigating personal and relational concerns: The quest for equilibrium. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 94-110.


3. Bolstering attachment security: Individuals form working models of the ‘self’ and ‘other’ based on early childhood attachment caregiving experiences. Attachment anxiety typically results from negative model of the self, whereas attachment avoidance typically results from negative model of other’s reliability and dependability, and individuals behave in a manner to elicit confirmation of their working models. The fill-in-the-void model suggests that attachment security may be bolstered over time when romantic partners are able to help anxious individuals feel more confident about themselves and avoidant individuals feel that the partner is trustworthy.


Arriaga, X. B., Kumashiro, M., Finkel, E. J., VanderDrift, L. E., & Luchies, L. B. (2014). Filling the void: Bolstering attachment security in committed relationships.  Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5, 398-406.


4. Application of above research in work, educational, health, or social media 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), health settings (e.g., effects of social support on motivation and well-being), and social media settings (e.g., how does social media affect personal growth and well-being).


Publications and research outputs

Book Section

Arriaga, Ximena B. and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2021. Change in security from an Interdependence Theory perspective. In: Ross A. Thompson; Jeffry A. Simpson and Lisa J. Berlin, eds. Attachment: The Fundamental Questions. New York: The Guilford Press, pp. 176-184. ISBN 9781462546022

Hunt, Lucy L.; Kumashiro, Madoka and Arriaga, Ximena B.. 2020. An interdependence analysis of enhancing attachment security. In: Laura V. Machia; Christopher R. Agnew and Ximena B. Arriaga, eds. Interdependence, Interaction, and Close Relationships. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 95-119. ISBN 9781108480963

Kumashiro, Madoka and Arriaga, Ximena B.. 2020. Attachment security enhancement model: Bolstering attachment securing through close relationships. In: Brent A. Mattingly; Kevin P. McIntyre and Gary W. Lewandowski, Jr., eds. Interpersonal Relationships and the Self-Concept. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, pp. 69-88. ISBN 9783030437466

Kumashiro, Madoka. 2015. The Magic Mirror. In: Leo Bormans, ed. The world book of hope. Tielt, Belgium: Lannoo Publishers, pp. 195-197. ISBN 9789401457804

Kumashiro, Madoka. 2014. Love as personal growth. In: Leo Bormans, ed. The world book of love. Tielt, Belgium: Lannoo Publishers, pp. 91-93. ISBN 9789401422741

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

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

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

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

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


Vowels, Laura M; Carnelley, Katherine B; Kumashiro, Madoka and Rowe, Angela C. 2023. The impact of non-harmonious goals on partner support and taking on opportunities. Current Psychology, 42(27), pp. 23166-23183. ISSN 1046-1310

Vowels, Laura M.; Vowels, Matthew J.; Carnelley, Katherine B. and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2023. A machine learning approach to predicting perceived partner support from relational and individual variables. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 14(5), pp. 526-538. ISSN 1948-5506

Arriaga, Ximena B.; Eller, Jami; Kumashiro, Madoka; Rholes, W. Steven and Simpson, Jeffry A.. 2021. Self-Efficacy and Declines Over Time in Attachment Anxiety During the Transition to Parenthood. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 12(5), pp. 658-666. ISSN 1948-5506

Rice, Tekisha M; Kumashiro, Madoka and Arriaga, Ximena B.. 2020. Mind the gap: Perceived partner responsiveness as a bridge between general and partner-specific attachment security. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, pp. 7178-7194. ISSN 1660-4601

Joel, Samantha; Eastwick, Paul W.; Allison, Colleen J.; Arriaga, Ximena B.; Baker, Zachary G.; Bar-Kalifa, Eran; Bergeron, Sophie; Birnbaum, Gurit E.; Brock, Rebecca L.; Brumbaugh, Claudia C.; Carmichael, Cheryl L.; Chen, Serena; Clarke, Jennifer; Cobb, Rebecca J.; Coolsen, Michael K.; Davis, Jody; de Jong, David C.; Debrot, Anik; DeHaas, Eva C.; Derrick, Jaye L.; Eller, Jami; Estrada, Marie-Joelle; Faure, Ruddy; Finkel, Eli J.; Fraley, R. Chris; Gable, Shelly L.; Gadassi-Polack, Reuma; Girme, Yuthika U.; Gordon, Amie M.; Gosnell, Courtney L.; Hammond, Matthew D.; Hannon, Peggy A.; Harasymchuk, Cheryl; Hofmann, Wilhelm; Horn, Andrea B.; Impett, Emily A.; Jamieson, Jeremy P.; Keltner, Dacher; Kim, James J.; Kirchner, Jeffrey L.; Kluwer, Esther S.; Kumashiro, Madoka; Larson, Grace; Lazarus, Gal; Logan, Jill M.; Luchies, Laura B.; MacDonald, Geoff; Machia, Laura V.; Maniaci, Michael R.; Maxwell, Jessica A.; Mizrahi, Moran; Muise, Amy; Niehuis, Sylvia; Ogolsky, Brian G.; Oldham, C. Rebecca; Overall, Nickola C.; Perrez, Meinrad; Peters, Brett J.; Pietromonaco, Paula R.; Powers, Sally I.; Prok, Thery; Pshedetzky-Shochat, Rony; Rafaeli, Eshkol; Ramsdell, Erin L.; Reblin, Maija; Reicherts, Michael; Reifman, Alan; Reis, Harry T.; Rhoades, Galena K.; Rholes, William S.; Righetti, Francesca; Rodriguez, Lindsey M.; Rogge, Ron; Rosen, Natalie O.; Saxbe, Darby; Sened, Haran; Simpson, Jeffry A.; Slotter, Erica B.; Stanley, Scott M.; Stocker, Shevaun; Surra, Cathy; Ter Kuile, Hagar; Vaughn, Allison A.; Vicary, Amanda M.; Visserman, Mariko L. and Wolf, Scott. 2020. Machine learning uncovers the most robust self-report predictors of relationship quality across 43 longitudinal couples studies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(32), pp. 19061-19071. ISSN 0027-8424

Florez, Estephania; Cohen, Keren; Ferenczi, Nelli; Linnell, Karina J; Lloyd, Joda; Goddard, Lorna; Kumashiro, Madoka and Freeman, Jonathan. 2020. Linking Recent Discrimination-Related Experiences and Wellbeing via Social Cohesion and Resilience. Journal of Positive School Psychology, 4(1), pp. 92-104. ISSN 2717-7564

Zee, Katherine S. and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2019. Investigating mechanisms of social support effectiveness: The case of locomotion motivation. Personal Relationships, 26(4), pp. 654-679. ISSN 1350-4126

Carswell, Kathleen L.; Finkel, Eli J. and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2019. Creativity and Romantic Passion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 116(6), pp. 919-941. ISSN 0022-3514

Rodrigues, David L.; Huic, Aleksandra; Lopez, Diniz and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2019. Regulatory focus in relationships and conflict resolution strategies. Personality and Individual Differences, 142, pp. 116-122. ISSN 0191-8869

Bühler, Janina Larissa; Weidmann, Rebekka; Kumashiro, Madoka and Grob, Alexander. 2019. Does Michelangelo care about age? An adult life-span perspective on the Michelangelo phenomenon. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 36(4), pp. 1392-1412. ISSN 0265-4075

Arriaga, Ximena B. and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2019. Walking a security tightrope: Relationship induced changes in attachment security. Current Opinion in Psychology, 25, pp. 121-126. ISSN 2352-250X

Arriaga, Ximena B.; Kumashiro, Madoka; Simpson, Jeffry A. and Overall, Nickola C.. 2018. Revising working models across time: Relationship situations that enhance attachment security. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 22(1), pp. 71-96. ISSN 1088-8683

Bagci, Sabahat C.; Kumashiro, Madoka; Rutland, Adam; Smith, Peter K. and Blumberg, Herbert H.. 2017. Cross-ethnic friendships, psychological well-being, and academic outcomes: Study of South Asian and White children in the UK. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 14, pp. 190-205. ISSN 1740-5629

Rodrigues, David; Lopes, Diniz and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2017. The “I” in us, or the eye on us? Regulatory focus, commitment and derogation of an attractive alternative person. PLoS ONE, 12(3), e0174350. ISSN 1932-6203

Visserman, Mariko, L; Righetti, Francesca; Kumashiro, Madoka and van Lange, Paul. A. M.. 2017. Me or us? Self-control promotes a healthy balance between personal and relationship concerns. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8(1), pp. 55-65. ISSN 1948-5506

Weinstein, Netta; Rodriguez, Lindsey M.; Knee, C. Raymond and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2016. Self-determined self-other overlap: Interacting effects on partners’ perceptions of support and well-being in close relationships. Journal of Research in Personality, 65, pp. 130-139. ISSN 0092-6566

Richman, Stephanie B,; Pond, Richard, S., Jr.; DeWall, C. Nathan; Kumashiro, Madoka; Slotter, Erica, B. and Luchies, Laura, B.. 2016. An unclear self leads to poor mental health: Self-concept confusion mediates the association of loneliness with depression. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, Copyright Guilford Press. Reprinted with permission of The Guilford Press, 35(7), pp. 525-550. ISSN 0736-7236

Weinstein, Netta; Legate, Nicole; Kumashiro, Madoka and Ryan, Richard M.. 2015. Autonomy support and diastolic blood pressure: Long term effects and navigation in romantic relationships. Motivation and Emotion, 40(2), pp. 212-225. ISSN 0146-7239

Righetti, F.; Luchies, L. B.; van Gils, S.; Slotter, E. B.; Witcher, B. and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2015. The Prosocial Versus Proself Power Holder: How Power Influences Sacrifice in Romantic Relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(6), pp. 779-790. ISSN 0146-1672

Righetti, Francesca; Kumashiro, Madoka and Campbell, Sarah B.. 2014. Goal Difficulty and Openness to Interpersonal Goal Support. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40(9), pp. 1107-1118. ISSN 0146-1672

Bagci, Sabahat C.; Kumashiro, Madoka; Smith, Peter K.; Blumberg, Herbert and Rutland, Adam. 2014. Cross-ethnic friendships: Are they really rare? Evidence from secondary schools around London. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 41, pp. 125-137. ISSN 0147-1767

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

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

Bagci, Sabahat C.; Rutland, Adam; Kumashiro, Madoka; Smith, Peter K. and Blumberg, Herbert H.. 2014. Are minority status children's cross-ethnic friendships beneficial in a multiethnic context? British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 32(1), pp. 107-115. ISSN 0261510X

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

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

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

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

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

Kumashiro, Madoka. 2010. Caryl Rusbult: The Epitome of the Michelangelo Phenomenon in Action. Personal Relationships, 17(2), pp. 166-168. ISSN 1350-4126

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kumashiro, Madoka; Rusbult, C. E. and Finkel, E. 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

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

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

Kumashiro, Madoka and Sedikides, Constantine. 2005. Taking on board liability-focused information: Close positive relationships as a self-bolstering resource. Psychological Science, 16(9), pp. 732-739. ISSN 0956-7976

Rusbult, Caryl E.; Kumashiro, Madoka; Stocker, Shevaun L.; Kirchner, Jeffrey L.; Finkel, Eli J. and Coolsen, Michael K.. 2005. Self-processes in interdependent relationships: Partner affirmation and the Michelangelo Phenomenon. Interaction Studies, 6(3), pp. 375-391. ISSN 1572-0373

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 0022-3514

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

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