Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Psychology

Dr. Michael Baker

Michael D. Baker, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor

Office: Rawl 112
Phone: 252-328-6059
Fax: 252-328-6283
Twitter: @Psychology Baker

Mailing Address:

104 Rawl Building
Department of Psychology
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858-4353


PhD, Social Psychology, Florida State University (2010)
MS, Social Psychology, Florida State University (2007)
BS, Psychology, Sam Houston State University (2002)

Research Interests:

Dr. Baker's research seeks to explore how fundamental social motives such as the desire to find a mate, maintain relationships, and avoid harm influence decision making, the basic cognitive processes of memory and attention, and health related behaviors. Previous research has examined the roles of social context and mating motivation in risk-taking behavior. Current lines of inquiry aim to discover the impact that exposure to mating cues has on health-related behaviors and outcomes, specifically focusing on exercise performance, nutritional decision-making, and smoking cessation.

Selected publications in peer refereed journals:

Vohs, K., Schmeichel, B., Baker, M. D., Walker, J. & White, R. (in preparation) Self-Regulatory Depletion Research Replication Collaboration.

Baker, M. D., Fox, N., Owens, B. (under review, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology) Accelerate to Get a Mate: Exercise Performance is Moderated by Mating Motives During Exposure to Photographic Stimuli

Baker, M. D., Strickland, A., & Fox, N. D. (2019). Choosing a meal to increase your appeal: How relationship status, sexual orientation, dining partner sex, and attractiveness impact nutritional choices in social dining scenarios. Appetite, 133, 262-269. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2018.11.023

Baker, M. D., Nabell, M. E., Thomas, N., Nicole Sloan, H., Utter, R.L., Hall, A., Beringer, J.A. (2019). Going the distance, going for speed: Honest signaling and the benefits of exercising with an opposite-sex partner. Evolution and Human Behavior, 40(2), 167-175. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2018.10.004

Baker, M. D., Sloan, H. N., Hall, A. D., Leo, J., & Maner, J. K. (2015). Mating and memory: Can Mating Cues Enhance Cognitive Performance?. Evolutionary Psychology, 13(4) doi:10.1177/1474704915623280

Baker, M. D., & Maner, J. K. (2009). Male risk-taking as a context-sensitive signaling device. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(5), 1136-1139. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2009.06.006

Baker, M. D., & Maner, J. K. (2008). Risk-taking as a situationally sensitive male mating strategy. Evolution and Human Behavior, 29(6), 391-395. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2008.06.001

Click here for full curriculum vitae (.pdf).