Research

My research typically focuses on one of three areas of focus: norms, close relationships and sexuality, and advanced statistics.

Norms

Much of my research is concentrated on studying the norms that govern sexual behavior. Some of my research involves examinations of the general content of sexual norms, and measuring endorsement of these prescriptions (e.g., Sakaluk et al., 2014). Other times, I researched specific sexual norms, particularly those involved in sexual double standards (e.g., Muehlenhard, Sakaluk, & Esterline, 2015). My research in this area includes exploration of new ways to assess sexual double standard endorsement (e.g., Sakaluk & Milhausen, 2012), as well as collaborations in which my colleagues and I examined group-based differences in double standard endorsement, and the stability of double standard endorsement over time (Sprecher, Treger, & Sakaluk, 2013).

Currently, my norm-based interests have shifted from focusing on the content of sexual norms to understanding factors that contribute to the strength of sexual normsThis area of my research is in its relative infancy, however I see it as a cornerstone of my future scholarship.

Close Relationships/Sexuality

Although I am primarily interested in the study of sexual norms, I have secondary interests in other aspects of sexuality and close relationships. Typically, these projects involve blending modern social psychological theories and methods with the study of various relational or sexual outcomes. For example, in my Masters Thesis research, I used experimental methods of priming attachment styles (Sakaluk, 2013), in order to explore the causal effects of attachment on condom use attitudes and behavior (Sakaluk & Gillath, 2015). In addition to my attachment-based research, I have initiated lines of research with collaborators that draw from perspectives such as conceptual metaphor theory (Landau, Meier, & Keefer, 2010), analogy (Gick & Holyoak, 1983), social comparison theory (Festinger, 1954), and shifting standards (Biernat & Mannis, 1994).

Statistics

I regularly incorporate methods of advanced statistical analysis in my own research. I particularly enjoy using methods of latent variable analysis, including exploratory factor analysis, exploratory structural equation modeling, confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling (including longitudinal approaches). When adopting these methods of analyses, I primarily rely on Mplus as my software of choice, but am moving more of my analyses into the R framework, using packages like lavaan, semTools, and simsem.

I have also developed a bourgeoning interest in meta-analysis. Although I have not yet published any meta-analytic reviews, I hope to make this a strong element of my research portfolio in the future. I have initiated two meta-analytic investigations, and have been learning how to use different R packages for meta-analysis, such as metasem (for a multilevel SEM approach to meta-analysis), and metafor (for fitting fixed, random, and mixed-effects models, plotting, etc.,).

Finally, beyond using advanced statistical analyses in my own research, I have recently initiated a number of meta-scientific projects, including a review of the use of exploratory factor analysis in sexuality research (Sakaluk & Short, 2016), and proposal for improving the accuracy of statistical reporting (Sakaluk, Williams, & Biernat, 2014), and the replicability of social psychological research (Sakaluk, 2015).