Dr. Tanja Gerlach

Research Interests

  • Psychology of mate choice, romantic relationships, and sexuality
  • Personality and social relationships, with a focus on defensive personality traits (e.g., narcissism, justice sensitivity)
  • Intra- and interpersonal aspects of forgiveness and revenge in close relationships
  • Emotional competencies and emotion regulation
  • Calibration of anger expression, revenge, and relational negotiation
  • Contextual approaches to psychological processes, interpersonal relationships, and relationship development
  • Online research (psytests.de, formr.org) and Open Science

Current Projects

  • Predictive validity and change of romantic partner ideals
  • Opposite-sex social networks - assessment and implications for partner choice and relationship quality
  • Ovulatory cycle shifts and psychological effects of hormonal contraception
  • Narcissistic admiration and rivalry and their relations to anger experience, regulation, and expression as well as relational negotiation
  • Effects of narcissistic admiration and rivalry in romantic relationships and friendships
  • Effects of self-distancing and wise reasoning in close interpersonal relationships
  • Personality predictors of advice seeking, taking, and giving in interpersonal relationships

Representative Publications

  • Gerlach, T. M. & Jünger, J. (in press). Ideal partner preferences. In J. J. Ponzetti Jr. (Ed.), Macmillan encyclopedia of families, marriages, and intimate relationships. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference.
  • von Borell, C., Kordsmeyer, T. L., Gerlach, T. M., & Penke, L. (in press). An integrative study of facultative personality calibration. Evolution and Human Behavior.
  • Gerlach, T. M., Arslan, R. C., Schultze, T., Reinhard, S. K., & Penke, L. (2019). Predictive validity and adjustment of ideal partner preferences across the transition into romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 116, 313-330. DOI: 10.1037/pspp0000170.
  • Jünger, J., Gerlach, T. M., & Penke, L. (2018). Probing ovulatory cycle shifts in women’s preferences for men’s behaviors. Preprint on PsyArXiv. DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/7G3XC
  • Wieczorek, L. L., Tata, C. S., Penke, L. & Gerlach, T. M. (2018). Online implementation of an event history calendar with formr: a tutorial. Preprint on PsyArxiv. DOI: 10.31234/osf.io/h8cs9
  • Arslan, R.C., Schilling, K., Gerlach, T. M., & Penke, L. (2018). Using 26 thousand diary entries to show ovulatory changes in sexual desire and behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1037/pspp0000208
  • Gerlach, T. M. & Reinhard, S.K. (2018). Personality and romantic attraction. In V. Zeigler-Hill & T. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. New York: Springer.
  • Gerlach, T. M., Driebe, J. C., & Reinhard, S. K. (2018). Personality and romantic relationship satisfaction. In V. Zeigler-Hill & T. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. New York: Springer.
  • Jünger, J., Kordsmeyer, T., Gerlach, T. M., & Penke, L. (2018). Fertile women evaluate male bodies as more attractive, regardless of masculinity. Evolution and Human Behavior. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2018.03.007
  • Schultze, T., Gerlach, T. M., & Rittich, J. C. (2017). Some people heed advice less than others: agency (but not communion) predicts advice taking. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1002/bdm.2065
  • Leckelt, M., Wetzel, E., Gerlach, T. M., Ackerman, R.A., Miller, J. D., Chopik, W. J., Penke, L., Geukes, K., Küfner, C.P., Hutteman, R., Richter, R., Renner, K. H., Allroggen, M., Brecheen, C., Campbell, W. K., Grossmann, I., & Back, M. D. (2017). Validation of the narcissistic admiration and rivalry questionnaire short scale (NARQ-S) in convenience and representative samples. Psychological Assessment. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1037/pas0000433.
  • Wurst, S. N., Gerlach, T. M., Dufner, M., Rauthmann, J. F., Grosz, M. P., Küfner, A. C. P., Denissen, J. J. A., & Back, M. D. (2017). Narcissism and romantic relationships: The differential impact of narcissistic admiration and rivalry. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 112, 280-306.
  • Wetzel, E., Leckelt, M., Gerlach, T.M., & Back, M.D. (2016). Distinguishing subgroups of narcissists with latent class analysis. European Journal of Personality, 30, 374-389.
  • Grossmann, I., Gerlach, T.M., & Denissen, J.J.A. (2016). Wise reasoning in the face of everyday life challenges. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 7, 611-622.
  • Fatfouta, R., Gerlach, T.M., Schröder-Abé, M., & Merkl, A. (2015). Narcissism and lack of interpersonal forgiveness: The mediating role of state anger, state rumination, and state empathy. Personality and Individual Differences, 75, 36-40.
  • Back, M. D., Küfner, A. C. P., Dufner, M., Gerlach, T. M., Rauthmann, J. F., & Denissen, J. J. A. (2013). Narcissistic admiration and rivalry: Disentangling the bright and dark sides of narcissism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105, 1013-1037.
  • Gerlach, T. M., Allemand, M., Agroskin, D., & Denissen, J. J. A. (2012). Justice sensitivity and forgiveness in close interpersonal relationships: The mediating role of mistrustful, legitimizing, and pro-relationship cognitions. Journal of Personality, 85, 1373-1413.
  • Gerlach, T. M., Agroskin, D., & Denissen, J. J. A. (2012). Forgiveness in close interpersonal relationships: A negotiation approach. In E. Kals & J. Maes (Eds.), Justice and conflicts: Theoretical and empirical contributions (pp. 377-390). Berlin: Springer.