PhD Student

Giulia Zoppolat

PhD Student

Room: MF-B569


Originally from Milan, Italy, I studied and worked in both the U.S. and the Netherlands for several years. Before starting my PhD, I obtained a Bachelor degree in Integrative Psychology at the University of Redlands (2014), in sunny southern California. After three years working in California and Oregon in higher education administration, I returned to academia to obtain a Research Master in Social Psychology at the VU Amsterdam (2019; Cum Laude). During the Master’s program, I worked with Dr. Francesca Righetti and Dr. Mariko Visserman on a project examining how expectations of sacrifice in close relationships influence partner appreciation and relationship satisfaction. Through this experience I gained a deep fascination for relationship science, and I am grateful to be able to continue working in this field as a PhD candidate at the VU.

PhD project

As of September 2019, I work under the supervision of Dr. Francesca Righetti on a project investigating ambivalence in romantic relationships (i.e. the presence of mixed feelings towards a partner). This project is supported by the VIDI grant by the N.W.O. for a proposal titled “Torn between love and contempt: Ambivalence in close relationships.” The project explores how ambivalence in romantic relationships influences relationship dynamics and well-being.

Research Interests

  • Close Relationships
  • Interpersonal Processes


Google Scholar

Recent publications

RN Balzarini, A Muise, G Zoppolat, AN Gesselman, J Lehmiller, JR Garcia & ... (2021) Sexual Desire in the Time of COVID-19: How COVID-Related Stressors are Associated with Sexual Desire in Romantic Relationships. PsyArXiv
DL Rodrigues, RN Balzarini, G Zoppolat & RB Slatcher (2021) Individual Motives for Security Influence Sexual Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic. PsyArXiv
RN Balzarini, A Muise, G Zoppolat, A Di Bartolomeo, DL Rodrigues & ... (2020) Love in the time of COVID: perceived partner responsiveness buffers people from lower relationship quality associated with COVID-related stressors. PsyArXiv
G Zoppolat, ML Visserman & F Righetti (2020) A nice surprise: Sacrifice expectations and partner appreciation in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 37 (2), 450-466

View full list of publications on Google Scholar