John K Sakaluk

John K Sakaluk
Assistant Professor

Ph.D. 2015 (University of Kansas) joined department in 2016

Office: COR A240

I am recruiting graduate applicants for 2020-2021, and have applied for multiple grants this cycle with the hopes of being able to provide additional funding support. I am able to supervise students in the graduate Social Psychology or Individualized Psychology programs, or to co-supervise students through the graduate Social Dimensions of Health program.

In my Methodological and Relationship/Sexual Science (MaRSS) Lab, my students and I pursue three lines of research:

1.      The development, application, and translation of psychological measurement modeling techniques: In this line of research, we study how psychological constructions of relational and sexual concepts vary across groups and contexts, and how this can be evaluated in more complicated study designs (e.g., data collected from interdependent dyads). Throughout this line of work, we identify and share analytic resources to increase others’ capacity to answer these questions in their own research programs. Within this line of research, we are increasingly interested in the development of R packages.

2.      The study of social, relational, and sexual health and well-being: In this line of research, we study what contributes to individual, relational, and sexual well-being. Much of my own work in this area focuses on the study of relationship norms, including both their content (i.e., the specific “rules” partners have for one another) and their strength (i.e., how compelling these “rules” are). In one exciting extension of this work, we are studying what relational factors enable couples to work together more effectively, and with less stress, as they try to solve a complicated relational challenge: IKEA furniture assembly; we will soon be analyzing self-report, behavioral, and observational data from this study. Our work in this area involves research in a variety of relational contexts (e.g., singlehood, consensual non-monogamy, monogamous relationships, casual sex relationships)

3.      The synthesizing of trends in scientific literatures and/or patterns of methodological practice: In this line of research, we complete large-scale syntheses to evaluate the state of current literatures and methodological practices. The topical breadth of this line of research is considerable, spanning literatures on attachment, relational sacrifice, self-esteem, sexual science, and psychotherapy. Throughout this work, we draw on traditional reviewing techniques (narrative reviews, meta-analytic reviews) as well as emerging techniques to assess indicators of evidential value and replicability. 

Throughout each line of research, my students and I strive to increase our adoption of open science methods and technologies, diverse samples, high-realism measurement approaches, and sophisticated data analysis techniques. Our collaborations, meanwhile, lead us to work both within and across disciplines, with colleagues in clinical psychology, kinesiology, public health, relationship science, sexual science, and social psychology.



  • Close relationships and sexuality
  • Health and well-being
  • Psychological measurement
  • Research synthesis techniques


Representative publications

*Student Co-Author

Sakaluk, J. K., Biernat, M., Le, B. M., *Lundy, S., & Impett, E. A. (2019). On the strength of ties that bind: Measuring the strength of norms in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. doi: 10.1177/0265407519881748

*Fisher, A. N., & Sakaluk, J. K. (2019). Are single people a stigmatized 'group'? Evidence from examinations of social identity, entitativity, and perceived responsibility. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology82, 208-216. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2019.02.006

Sakaluk, J. K., *Kim, J., *Campbell, E. A., *Baxter, A., & Impett, E. A. (2019). Self-Esteem and Sexual Health: A Multilevel Meta-Analytic Review. Health Psychology Review. doi: 10.1080/17437199.2019.1625281

Sakaluk, J. K. (2019). Expanding statistical frontiers in sexual science: Taxometric, invariance, and equivalence testing. The Journal of Sex Research56(4-5), 475-510. 10.1080/00224499.2019.1568377

Sakaluk, J. K., *Kilshaw, R. E., & *Fisher, A. N. (In Principle Acceptance). Dyadic invariance and its importance for the replicability of romantic relationship research. Personal Relationships.

*Gauvin, S., *Merwin, K., *Kilimnik, C., Maxwell, J. A., & Sakaluk, J. K. (2019, August 31). A Large-Scale Test of the Replicability and Generalizability of Survey Measures in Close Relationship and Sexuality Science.

Sakaluk, J. K., Williams, A. J., *Kilshaw, R. E., & Rhyner, K. T. (2019). Evaluating the evidential value of empirically supported psychological treatments (ESTs): A meta-scientific review. Journal of Abnormal Psychology128(6), 500-509. doi: 10.1037/abn0000421