Lora Park


Lora Park.

Lora Park


Lora Park


Research Interests

The self; self-esteem; contingencies of self-worth; motivation; interpersonal processes

Contact Information

344 Park Hall

Buffalo NY, 14260-4110

Phone: (716) 645-0228



  • PhD, University of Michigan

Current Research

Research in my lab focuses broadly on questions pertaining to the self, motivation, and interpersonal processesIn particular, we examine how aspects of the self (e.g., self-esteem, contingencies of self-worth, rejection sensitivity, social identities) interact with aspects of the social environment to affect intrapersonal and interpersonal outcomes. Integrating across diverse theoretical perspectives using multiple methods and levels of analysis, our lab investigates how fundamental aspects of the self: (a) self-evaluation and responses to self-threat, (b) the self in social context, and (c) temporal aspects of the self shape people's goal pursuits, well-being, and how people relate to others, for better or worse.

Funding from the National Science Foundation has supported our work examining how features of the social environment affect self-perceptions, motivation, and persistence of members of underrepresented groups in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

Selected Publications

  • Ward, D. E., Park, L. E., Walsh, C., Naragon-Gainey, K., Paravati, E., & Whillans, A. V.  (in press). For the love of money: The influence of financially contingent self-worth in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 
  • Murphy, M. C., Mejia, A. F., Mejia, J., Yan, X., Cheryan, S., Dasgupta, N., Destin, M., Fryberg, S. A., Garcia, J. A., Haines, E. L., Harackiewicz, J. M., Ledgerwood, A., Moss-Racusin, C. A., Park, L. E., Perry, S. P., Ratliff, K. A., Rattan, A., Sanchez, D. T., Savani, K., Sekaquaptewa, D., Smith, J. L.,... Diekman, A. B., & Pestilli, F. (2020) Open science, communal culture, and women's participation in the movement to improve science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117 (39), 24154-24164. 
  • Park, L. E., Jung, H., Lee, K. S., Ward, D. E., Piff, P. K., Whillans, A.V., & Naragon-Gainey, K. (2020). Psychological pathways linking income inequality in adolescence to well-being in adulthood. Self and Identity.
  • Ward, D. E., Park, L.E., Naragon-Gainey, K., Whillans, A.V., & Jung, H. (2020). Can't buy me love (or friendship): Social consequences of financially contingent self-worth. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 46, 1665-1681.
  • Park, L. E., Kondrak, C., Ward, D. E., & Streamer, L. (2018).  Positive feedback from male authority figures boosts women's math outcomes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44, 359-383.
  • Park, L.E., Ward, D.E., & Naragon-Gainey, K. (2017).  It’s all about the money (for some): Consequences of financially contingent self-worth.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43, 601-622.
  • Park, L.E., Eastwick, P.W., Young, A.F., Troisi, J.D., & Streamer, L. (2016).  Desirable but not smart:  Preference for smarter romantic partners impairs women’s STEM outcomes.  Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 46, 158-179.
  • Park, L.E., Young, A.F., & Eastwick, P.W. (2015).  (Psychological) distance makes the heart grow fonder:  Effects of psychological distance and relative intelligence on men’s attraction to women.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41, 1459-1473.
  • Park, L.E., Streamer, L., Huang, L., & Galinsky, A.D. (2013). Stand tall, but don’t put your feet up: Universal and culturally-specific effects of expansive postures on power.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 965-971.
  • Park, L. E., Young, A. F., Troisi, J. D., & Pinkus, R. T. (2011). Effects of everyday romantic goal pursuit on women’s attitudes toward math and science. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 1259-1273.
  • Park, L. E. (2010). Responses to self-threat: Linking self and relational constructs with approach and avoidance motivation. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 4, 201-221.
  • Park, L. E., & Maner, J. K. (2009). Does self-threat promote social connection? The role of self-esteem and contingencies of self-worth. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 203-217.
  • Park, L. E. (2007). Appearance-based rejection sensitivity: Implications for mental and physical health, affect, and motivation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 490-504.
  • Park, L. E., & Crocker, J. (2005). Interpersonal consequences of seeking self-esteem. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 11, 1587-1598.
  • Crocker, J., & Park, L.E. (2004). The costly pursuit of self-esteem. Psychological Bulletin, 130, 392–414