Collins will discuss her research in "A Safe Haven: Social Support and Caregiving Processes in Couples."
Admission is free and the public is invited.
"In my talk, I'll be reviewing research from my laboratory that explores how romantic partners help each other cope with stressful life events and take care of each other in times of need," Collins said. "First, I'll discuss the importance of social support and caregiving processes for the development and maintenance of satisfying intimate relationships.
"Second, I'll discuss why some people are more willing, and better able, to seek social support and to provide warm and responsive support to their partners.
"Finally, I'll explore whether early family relationships in childhood shape the way people care for their romantic partners in adulthood."
Named for Harold J. Plous, an esteemed assistant professor of economics at UCSB from 1950 until his death in 1957, the Plous award is given annually to an assistant professor who excels in both research and teaching.
Collins, who earned a Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of Southern California in 1990, is an experimental social psychologist, who studies the cognitive, affective, and behavioral processes that govern close interpersonal relationships. She was promoted to associate professor of psychology last spring and is already recognized as an important authority in her field.