The process of intimacy: similarity, understanding and gender.
ABSTRACT This study examined gender and three aspects of marital intimacy using a method to establish both objective and subjective indices of intimacy. Fifty couples answered the Personal Assessment of Intimate Relationships (Schaefer & Olson, 1981) twice: once as a self-report and once to respond as they predicted their spouses would answer. Couples who were less accurate in predicting each other's responses also diverged in their experience of intimacy and reported lower intimacy. Results suggest that high intimacy is based on both understanding and similarity of intimate experience. Women reported significantly higher levels of intimacy and were also better than men in predicting their partners' feelings. These findings suggest that women may be more attuned to intimacy or that definitions and assessment of intimacy are gender biased or both.
Article: Customer intimacy[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Purpose – The term customer intimacy has been used both in academia and business, albeit lacking clear definition and empirical validation. The authors in this paper aim to develop a measure of customer intimacy in business-to-business contexts and to assess its reliability and validity, as well as its relevance, within a nomological relationship marketing network. Design/methodology/approach – A multi-method (qualitative/exploratory and quantitative/confirmatory structural modelling), multi-staged (test, re-test) research approach is used and applied in the UK and Germany. Findings – The results show that customer intimacy is a second order construct reflected by the three formative dimensions of mutual understanding, closeness, and value perception. The results also show that customer intimacy is a relevant relationship indicator, distinct from the central relationship indicators of trust and commitment. It impacts relationship commitment levels, customer induced word-of-mouth, repurchase intentions, information disclosure, customer availability, and leads to an advisor status with the customer. Moreover, customer intimacy mediates relationship marketing's central trust commitment link. Research limitations/implications – The main limitations that should be addressed by future studies are: reliance on the key informant technique on one side of the supplier-buyer dyad; cross-sectional design. Practical implications – This study shows that achieving and managing customer intimacy is a relevant managerial goal and task for firms and shows managers how it can be measured and managed. Originality/value. – This study, for the first time, presents a measure for customer intimacy and assesses its quality and impact empirically. The measure will be of significant value in making customer-centric, relationship management approaches more accountable.Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing 06/2012; 27(5):370-383. · 0.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Social ecologies shape the way people initiate and maintain social relationships. Settings with much opportunity will lead to more fine-grained similarity among friends; less opportunity leads to less similarity. We compare two ecological contexts—a large, relatively diverse state university versus smaller colleges in the same state—to test the hypothesis that a larger pool of available friendship choices will lead to greater similarity within dyads. Participants in the large campus sample reported substantially more perceived ability to move in and out of relationships compared to participants in the small colleges sample. Dyads were significantly more similar on attitudes, beliefs, and health behaviors in the large campus than in the small colleges sample. Our findings reveal an irony—greater human diversity within an environment leads to less personal diversity within dyads. Local social ecologies create their own “cultures” that affect how human relationships are formed.Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 01/2012; 15(1):119-131. · 1.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There are two purposes of this marriage education marketing study: (1) to compare the self-reported intra- and interpersonal qualities of 121 married couples (n = 242 individuals) attending a marriage education program with 46 married couples (n = 92 individuals) who were contacted through marketing promotional materials to attend the program but did not participate and (2) to determine if intra- and/or interpersonal qualities would predict the likelihood of marriage education attendance versus nonattendance. Results showed that compared with program nonparticipants, program participants reported lower levels of self-esteem, marital communication quality, marital commitment, marital satisfaction, family strengths, less consensus and intimacy, less fulfillment of marriage expectations, and increased levels of marital conflict. Levels of religiosity and fusion were the same for participants and nonparticipants. Wald logistic regression analysis indicated communication was the only significant predictor of marriage education participation. Implications for marriage education programming and practitioners are outlined.Marriage & Family Review 01/2011; 47(1):1-22.