Research Interests

I investigate the following research areas from an evolutionary psychological perspective:
Mate Retention

My primary area of research examines the topic of Mate Retention: the strategies that men and women use to retain a long-term mate. I investigate this topic from an evolutionary psychological perspective, by studying the inputs (e.g., perceived mate value of self and partner; Sela, Mogilski, Shackelford, Zeigler-Hill, & Fink, in press), outputs (e.g., mate retention behaviors; Sela, Shackelford, Pham, & Euler, 2015), and individual differences (e.g., personality; Sela, Shackelford, Pham & Zeigler-Hill, 2015) relevant to a hypothesized information processing system for retaining a long-term mate.

Sexual Behavior

I also investigate sexual behaviors in long-term relationships such as female orgasm (Sela, Weekes-Shackelford, Shackelford, & Pham, 2015) and oral sex (Pham, Sela, & Shackelford, 2013; Pham, Sela, Shackelford, & Welling, 2013) within a sperm-competition framework. 

Religiosity & Violence

My secondary area of research examines the topic of Religiosity. Specifically, I am interested in the influence of childhood religious experiences on adult outcomes, and to this end my colleagues and I have developed two inventories: childhood religious experiences with primary care givers (Tratner, Sela, Lopes, Ehrke, Weekes-Shackelford, & Shackelford, in press), and childhood religious experiences with peers (Tratner, Sela, Ehrke, Lopes, & Weekes-Shackelford, under review). 

I am also interested in the application of sexual selection theory to religiosity to better understand religious beliefs and behaviors, such as religiously motivated violence (Sela, Liddle, & Shackelford, 2015).