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My research interests include the psychology of friendship formation, mate attraction, evolutionary psychology, personality psychology, and consumer behavior. During graduate school, I led and developed a program of research that explored close friendships between straight women and gay men from an evolutionary psychological perspective.

My research has been featured on various news websites and blogs including (but not limited to) NBC News, The Atlantic, New York Daily News, KPCC Los Angeles, Psychology Today, Daily Mail, Pacific Standard Magazine, Salon, Scientific American, Science Daily, The Huffington Post, and The Conversation. Please scroll below to find featured links to journal article publications and media coverage.

  • Johnston, S. F., McKie, R. M., Levere, D., Russell, E., Prokosch, M. L., & Reissing, E. D. (2021). Normalizing gay

       and straight male friendships: A qualitative analysis of beliefs and attitudes in Canada and the United States. Psychology
       of Men & Masculinities
. (link)


  • Proffitt-Leyva R., Mengelkoch S., Gassen J., Ellis B. J., Russell, E. M., & Hill. S. E. (2020). Low socioeconomic status and eating in the absence of hunger in children aged 3–14. Appetite. (link)


  • Russell, E. M., Bradshaw, H. K., Rosenbaum, M., Hill, S. E., & Russell-Bennett, R. (2019). Intrasexual female competition and female trust in gay male sales associates’ recommendations. Psychology & Marketing. (link)


  • Russell, E. M., Ickes, W., & Ta, V. P. (2018). Women interact more comfortably and intimately with gay men—but not straight men—after learning their sexual orientation. Psychological Science, 29, 288-303. (link)


  • Russell. E. M., Babcock, M. J., Lewis, D. M. G., Ta, V. P., & Ickes, W. (2018). Why attractive women want gay male friends: A previously undiscovered strategy to prevent mating deception and sexual exploitation. Personality and Individual Differences, 120, 283-287. (link)


  • Lewis, D. M. G., Russell, E. M., Al-Shawaf, L., Ta, V., Senveli, Z., Ickes, W., & Buss, D. M. (2017). Why women wear high heels: Lumbar curvature and physical attractiveness. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:1875. (link)


  • Rosenbaum, M., Russell, E. M., & Russell-Bennett, R. (2017). “I’ll wait for him”: Understanding when female shoppers prefer working with gay male sales associates. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 36, 172-179. (link)


  • Russell, E. M., Ta, V. P., Lewis, D. M. G., Babcock, M. J., & Ickes, W. (2017). Why (and when) straight women trust gay men: Ulterior mating motives and female competition. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46, 763-773. (link)


  • Lewis, D. M. G., Russell, E. M., Al-Shawaf, L., & Buss, D. M. (2015). Lumbar curvature: A previously undiscovered standard of attractiveness. Evolution and Human Behavior, 36, 345-350. (link)


  • Lewis, D. M. G., Al-Shawaf, L., Russell, E. M., & Buss, D. M. (2015). Friends and happiness: An evolutionary perspective on friendship. In M. Demir (Ed.), Friendship and Happiness (pp. 37-57). Netherlands: Springer. (link)


  • Russell, E. M., DelPriore, D. J., Butterfield, M. E., & Hill, S. E. (2013). Friends with benefits, but without the sex: Straight women and gay men exchange trustworthy mating advice. Evolutionary Psychology, 11, 132-147. (link)

Media Coverage
​“Eric has the skill to easily break down complex results into a language that other psychologists, but also lay people can understand. I highly recommend Eric's intellectual and statistical talent!”

Randi Proffitt Leyva, Project Manager

​“As a researcher, Eric has really great intuition. Throughout our almost 10 months of working together, he is always able to foresee any potential icebergs and take the initiative to start useful research.”

Diamond Ho, Product Designer

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