Dr. Brian M. Wilkey

Former Graduate Research Assistant & Assistant Instructor
Department of Human Development and Family Sciences
University of Texas at Austin

About Brian 

Brian graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with a B.A. in Psychology, Magna cum Laude and the Outstanding Senior in Psychology. He joined Dr. Eastwick's lab at Texas A&M and received his Masters in Social Psychology.  He then transferred to the University of Texas Department of Human Development and Family Sciences.  Brian currently has several research interests, all with research currently being conducted: 

  • Human mating strategies and sociosexuality - Sociosexuality is the extent to which a person is open to sexual relationships without commitment.  However, it is often used as a proxy for the sole pursuit of short-term relationships.  Brian's work examines how sociosexuality may actually represent a degree of openness or plasticity in mating strategies.  
  • Non-reproductive adaptive benefits of long-term relationships - Long-term relationships can provide a better chance of your offspring reaching viable reproductive ages. Their benefits to evolutionary fitness are not explored in addition to that.  Brian's work uses unique methodologies (e.g., knot-tying, fire-starting) to explore how relationships may increase the likelihood of survival.  
  • Power and romantic attraction - Why do people seem to prefer romantic partners who have some position of power?  Is the mere possession of power (i.e., the role) an aphrodisiac or  do powerful people behave in a way that is different from their less powerful counterparts?  

In addition to his research, Brian is also the President of the graduate student body at The University of Texas at Austin, and the Chairman of the Student Advocates for Graduate Education (SAGE).  Brian advocates on behalf of approximately 150,000 graduate students' health, opportunities, and well-being . Brian attempts to bring attention to great work being done by graduate students nationwide as well as develop programs in improve their lives here on UT-Austin's campus. Brian is also the creator, co-host and producer the relationship advice podcast, Those Love Geeks!.


Wilkey, B.M. & Eastwick, P.W. (in press). Attraction. In H. Miller (Ed). Sage Encyclopedia of Theory in Psychology.

Eastwick, P. W., Wilkey, B. M., Finkel, E. J., Lambert, N. M., Fitzsimons, G., Brown, P. C., & Fincham, F. D. (2013). Act with authority: Romantic desire at the nexus of power possessed and power perceived. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 267-271. [Download Article]