Craig Brinkman

Instructor in Psychology Laboratory


Social psychologist with research interests that include romantic relationships, prejudice, and sport psychology.

Close interpersonal relationships are among the most important aspects of many people’s lives. Close relationships (and romantic relationships specifically) can be the source of some of the greatest joys and also the worst feelings of pain and rejection throughout one’s life. My primary research focuses on psychological processes that facilitate or hinder interpersonal connections and relationship maintenance. My work has examined how close others’ (e.g., family, friends) approval of romantic relationships develops and its role in romantic relationship maintenance. My secondary research interests extend to other areas of social psychology and sport psychology. Specifically, other lines of research have examined 1) how individuals’ racial attitudes contribute to school choices for their children, and the associated real-world implications for racial segregation in American schools, 2) connections among personality and motivation among college athletes, and 3) how individuals utilize social media to feel connected to others and achieve their psychological goals.

My overarching goal as a professor is to guide students as they develop the knowledge and skills that will serve as the foundation for their future success, both personally and professionally. As a teacher and a mentor, I have had the good fortune to work with some exceptional individuals–– students who were inquisitive, engaged, dedicated, and passionate. These are qualities that fuel student success in college and beyond, and they are the qualities I seek to bring out from each of my students. In order to achieve this overarching goal as a professor, I focus on pursuing the following with each group of students with whom I work: 1) promoting active learning, 2) fostering an environment of enthusiasm and intrinsic interest, and 3) developing close working relationships with students.

I am currently a member of the Psychology Department Outreach Committee, and I have recently taught psychology courses abroad at the Singapore Institute of Management.

When I am not working at Wellesley, I enjoy playing sports (especially soccer) and otherwise staying active (e.g., kayaking), and rooting on my favorite teams (go Yankees/Packers/Notre Dame football/Villanova basketball!).