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Christina Leckfor

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Christina Leckfor is a Social Psychology Ph.D. candidate in the Behavior and Brain Sciences program where she examines the factors that facilitate and interfere with social connection. Some of her most recent projects investigate what motivates people to talk to strangers or avoid them, how people develop intimacy in different contexts (e.g., face-to-face vs. texting and video chat, dyadic vs. group interactions, wearing face masks vs. no masks), and how the psychological experience of being ghosted differs from being directly rejected.

Christina is also dedicated to being an effective teacher and mentor, as demonstrated by her acceptance into UGA's Future Faculty Fellows program, receiving the Richard L. Marsh Mentoring Award from the Department of Psychology, and serving as a Graduate Advisor for UGA's Psi Chi Chapter.

  • M.S., Social Psychology, University of Pittsburgh
  • B.A., Psychology, Youngstown State University
Research Interests:

Christina's research aims to understand the factors that facilitate and interfere with relationship processes and how social interactions and supportive relationships influence well-being. Her work has examined how social technologies can be used to foster and maintain relationships through deep meaningful conversations (e.g., over video chat and texting), while also impeding social connection by making it easier to displace minimal social interactions with strangers and end existing relationships (e.g., through ghosting). Ultimately, Christina aims to understand how people can maximize the benefits of social relationships to lead happier and healthier lives.

In addition to her own research, Christina is currently serving as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Social Psychology of Research Experiences and Education (SPREE) Lab.



University of Georgia Graduate School (2021). “From close to ghost: The effects of ghosting and need for closure on need satisfaction and coping behaviors.” Total: $1,500. Role: Principal Investigator

Psi Chi: The International Honor Society of Psychology (2020). “Feeling gloom after Zoom: The psychological effects of video chat vs. face-to-face interactions.” Total: $1,500. Role: Principal Investigator

Selected Publications:

(* indicates shared first authorship)

Of note:

Christina's research has received coverage in the following media outlets:

  • “As online dating grows, why is ghosting on the rise as well? What are the effects?” by River Gracey (2023, October 28). WUGA
  • "Socializing boosts mood compared to screentime" by Erica Techo (2023, September, 14). UGA Today
  • “What does being ‘ghosted’ mean and why does it make us feel so bad?” by Sara Novak (2023, July 26). Discover Magazine
  • “What to do if a friend ghosts you” by Catherine Pearson (2023, April 12). The New York Times
  • “What science knows about ghosting: It’s worse than direct rejection” by Karelia Vázquex. (2023, March 7). El País (Spanish and English versions)
  • “There's a weird link between people who seek closure and those who ghost” by Dayna McAlpine. (2023, February 14). HuffPost
  • “People who ‘ghost’ actually have a stronger need for closure. Wait, what?” by Faima Baker. (2023, February 20). Metro
  • “People with a high need for closure are more likely to ghost, yet also feel more distressed when they are ghosted” by Eric. W. Dolan (2023, February 19). PsyPost
  • “Love in 2023: Ghosting ‘new normal’ for ending relationships, research shows” by John Anderer. (2023, February 14).  StudyFinds
  • “The relationship between ghosting and closure” by Erica Techo. (2023, February 13). UGA Today
  • “Healthy Relationships 101: Advice from the UGA community” by Maddy Franklin (2021, August 19). The Red & Black, pp. 14-15


Articles Featuring Christina Leckfor

Congratulations to these four UGA Psychology graduate students who are recipients of 2021 Summer Research Grants from the Graduate School:

  • Christina Leckfor
  • Violeta Rodriguez
  • Heidi Sarles-Whittlesey
  • Hayley Trainer

Major Professor

Gail M. Williamson Distinguished Professor

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