Marissa Harrison, Ph.D.

Marissa Harrison, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, School of Behavioral Sciences and Education
Olmsted Building, W311

Dr. Marissa A. Harrison is a research psychologist who investigates serial murder, and interest in serial murder, from evolutionary and other psychological perspectives. Her dozens of research publications, framed through an evolutionary lens, cover various areas of human sexuality, from saying "I love you," to physical attraction, to homicide. Her research has been covered by popular written and televised media (e.g., Time Magazine, The Washington Post, CBS All Access, Good Morning America, A & E). She’s been featured on radio and television programming such as the Investigation Discovery (ID) program, “A Crime to Remember,” BBC Radio Britain, The Jill Bennet Show, and on popular Irish radio programs. Her recent (2023) book with Cambridge University Press, "Just as Deadly: The Psychology of Female Serial Killers," has received expert and reader praise.

  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Harrison, M.A. (2023). Just as deadly: The psychology of female serial killers. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press

Gupta, S., Harrison, M., & Michael, C. S. (2021). The relationship between body image and dating anxiety in emerging adults. The Journal of Clinical and Mental Health Counseling 1(1), 1-14.

Harrison, M., & Hughes, S. M. (2021). Ugly or weak? Insults target sex-specific cues of mate value. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences.

Harrison, M., & Murphy, B. (2021). Sexual fetishes: Sensations, perceptions, and correlates. Psychology & Sexuality, 13. 

Yaksic, E., Harrison, M., Konikoff, D., Gordon, D., Mooney, R., Allely, C., De Silva, R., Matykiewicz, B., Inglis, M., Giannangelo, S., S. D., & Sartesch, C. M. (2021). A heuristic study of the similarities and differences in offender characteristics across potential and successful serial sexual homicide offenders. Behavioral Sciences and the Law. 

Harrison, M., & Frederick, E. J. (2020). Interested in serial killers? Morbid curiosity in college students. Current Psychology. 

Hughes, S. M., Aung, T., Harrison, M., LaFayette, J., & Gallup, G. G. (2020). Experimental evidence for sex differences in sexual variety preferences: Support for the Coolidge Effect in humans. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 

Hughes, S. M., Harrison, M., & de Haan, K. (2020). Perceived nervous reactions associated with initial attraction. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology. 

Warner, V., Horn, S., Hughes, S., & Harrison, M. (2019). Breakup Kummerspeck? No evidence for weight gain after romantic relationship dissolution EVOS: Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium, 8(1). Harrison idea, mentored students to publication.

Harrison, M., Hughes, S. M., & Gott, A. J. (2019). Sex differences in serial killers. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 13(4), 295-310.

Ruzansky, A. S., & Harrison, M. (2018). Swinging high or low? Measuring self-esteem in swingers. The Social Science Journal, 56(1), 30-37.  Mentored student to publication.

Hughes, S. M., & Harrison, M. (2018). Women Reveal, Men Conceal: Current Relationship Disclosure When Seeking an Extra-pair Partner. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 13(3), 272-277.

Wilt, J., Harrison, M., & Michael, C. S. (2018). Attitudes and experiences of swinging couples. Psychology & Sexuality, 9(1), 28. Mentored student to publication.

Harrison, M., & Hughes, S. M. (2017). Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll: Evidence supporting the storied trilogy. Human Ethology Bulletin, 32(3), 37.

Hughes, S. M., & Harrison, M. (2017). Your cheatin' voice will tell on you: Accurate detection of past infidelity from voice. Evolutionary Psychology, 15(2), 1-12.

Harrison, M., Bealing, C. E., & Salley, J. L. (2015). 2 TXT or Not 2 TXT: College students’ reports of when text messaging is social breech. The Social Science Journal, 52(2), 25. 

Harrison, M., Murphy, E. A., Ho, L. Y., Bowers, T., & Flahery, C. V. (2015). Female serial killers in the United States: Means, motives, and makings. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, 26(3), 383-406. 

Harrison, M.A., Becker, M.A., & Janze, M.F. (in press). "Heck with the flowers and candy -- I just want sex!" Women's and men's agreement and disagreement about romance. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences.

Hughes, S. M., Mogilski, J., & Harrison, M.A. (2014). The perception and parameters of intentional voice manipulation. Journal of Non-Verbal Behavior Springer, 38(1), 107-127.

Flaherty, C., Brothers, A., Hoffer, D., Harrison, M., Yang, C., Legro, R., & Simmons, Z. (2013). VALUES: a national multicenter study demonstrating gender differences in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with behavioral impairment. Neurodegenerative Disease Management: Future Medicine, 3(6), 515-524.

Hughes, S. M., & Harrison, M.A. (2013). I like my voice better: Self-enhancement bias in vocal attractiveness ratings. Perception, 42, 941-949.

Harrison, M.A.Hughes, S. M., Jones, K., & LeFevre, A. J. (2013). Self-reports of nipple erection in emotional and non-sexual somatic contexts. The Psychological Record, 63, 489-500.

Harrison, M.A.& Gilmore, A. L. (2012). U txt WHEN? College students' social uses of text messaging. The Social Science Journal, 49, 513-518.

Harrison, M.A., & McFalls, A. J. (2012). A primal reaction to fetid feet: A brief report. Human Ethology Bulletin, 27(3), 8-13.

Harrison, M.A., & Shortall, J. C. (2011). Women and men in love: Who really feels it and says it first? The Journal of Social Psychology Taylor & Francis, 151(6).

Harrison, M., Shortall, J. C., Dispenza, F., & Gallup, G. G. (2011). You must have been a beautiful baby: Ratings of infant attractiveness fail to predict ratings of adult attractiveness. Infant Behavior and Development, 34, 610-616.

Harrison, M.A.(2011). College students' prevalence and perceptions of text messaging while driving. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 43, 1516-1520.

Harrison, M.A.(2010). An exploratory study of the relationship between second toe length and androgen-linked behaviors. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 4(4), 241-253.

Harrison, M.A., & Bowers, T. (2010). Autogenic massacre as a maladaptive response to status threat. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, 21(6), 916-932.

Ph.D., Biopsychology (specialization Evolutionary Psychology), University at Albany, SUNY, 2006

B.A., Psychology, Magna Cum Laude, University at Albany, SUNY, 1998.

PSYC524 Biological Basis of Behavior
PSYC530 Research Paper
PSYCH100H Introductory Psychology Honors
PSYCH422 Human Sexuality
PSYCH462 Physiological Psychology