The RAPTOR (Relationships, Affiliation, Power, and Threat in ORganizations) Lab, directed by Jon Maner, focuses on the interplay between motivation, emotion, and social cognition. Specific research areas include: close relationships (e.g., romantic attraction and the maintenance of long-term relationships), power and leadership, social affiliation and rejection, and self-protective processes.


Graduate Students

Charleen R. Case is a predoctoral fellow in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Ph.D. candidate in social psychology at Florida State University. She received her B.A. in psychology and anthropology at Miami University in 2010 and her M.S. in social psychology at Florida State University in 2013. Charleen takes an evolutionary approach to the study of social hierarchy and intragroup competition. She investigates the motivational, cognitive, and endocrinological processes that underlie the attainment and maintenance of social relationships, with an emphasis on those within group hierarchies and coalitions. 

Andrea Dittmann received her B.A. in Psychology & Statistics from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Following graduation, she spent two years as a lab manager: first, at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in the Center for Decision Research, then at the Kellogg School of Management for Dr. Loran Nordgren. Andrea is interested in studying social class, social rank, inequality, and interpersonal and intergroup dynamics. She is also interested in designing and testing interventions aimed at reducing inequality. In her spare time, Andrea loves running, doing crossword puzzles, and baking.

Anastasia “Stacey” Makhanova is predominantly interested in the physiological and motivational influences on person perception. One of her main research interests is how the motivation to avoid disease influences avoidance of certain others. She examines how both chronic disease concerns (e.g., people's germ aversion in their daily lives) and situationally activated disease concerns (e.g., primed motivational states) are associated with social distancing and assortative sociality. Additionally, she examines how the activation of the physiological immune system might mediate the activation of these psychological biases. She is also interested in examining hormonal underpinnings of perceptions in close relationships. So far, she has examined behaviors of newlywed couples in problem-solving discussions, pregnant women's affiliative behavior with friends and family, and women's social perceptions across the menstrual cycle. Broadly, she is  interested in taking an evolutionary approach in examining neuroendocrinological processes that affect social perception.

Kaylene McClanahan is a second-year doctoral student in the department of Management and Organizations. Prior to starting at Kellogg, she received her B.S. and M.S. in human development and family psychology from Brigham Young University. Kaylene is interested in social hierarchy and inequality within and between groups. She specifically studies the psychological and social processes that attenuate or enhance hierarchy, including competition, leadership, and the distinction between dominance- and prestige-motivation. Kaylene takes a multi-method approach to her research, integrating experimental studies with field work. 


Tania Reynold’s research explores the various ways humans select, compete for, and maintain social partnerships. People use their alliances to gain access to resources, protection, care, and mating opportunities. Tania’s work on partner selection found that people use both the human grief response and homosexuality as cues of others’ underlying traits and proclivities, which then inform alliance decisions. Her work on female competition explores how women use social information and reputational denigration to outcompete each other for the best mates and allies. People must also detect and respond to threats in their relationships. Based on research supported by the NSF graduate fellowship, she has found that when people feel anxiety about their romantic relationships, they show increased progesterone levels. This suggests that relationship insecurities extend beyond our thoughts, influencing our hormones and physiology. Because men highly value attractiveness when choosing their mates, a disparity in partner attractiveness may be particularly threatening to women in romantic relationships. Indeed, her lab research found that when women are unattractive but married to attractive men, women show higher disordered eating and desires to be thin, perhaps as a way to decrease this disparity. When people are not satisfied with their romantic relationships, they occasionally seek extra-pair partners. Her research finds that men and women differ in their motivations for infidelity. Men are more likely to cheat when they are sexually dissatisfied and women are more likely to cheat when they are emotionally dissatisfied.

Lab Alumni

Sarah Ainsworth, University of North Florida

Michael Baker, East Carolina University

Kyle Conlon, Stephen F. Austin State University

Nathan DeWall,  University of Kentucky

Adam Fay, SUNY Oswego

Jonathan Kunstman, Miami University Ohio

Jennifer Leo, Holleran Consulting

Nicole Mead, University of Melbourne

Andrew Menzel

Saul Miller

Justin Moss, Arkansas Tech University

D. Aaron Rouby