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Mindsets applied to fitness: Growth beliefs predict exercise efficacy, value and frequency

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Abstract

Objectives Two studies examined if individuals’ implicit theories, or mindsets, of fitness predict exercise behavior and whether self-efficacy and self-value mediated this relationship. Design and methods Study 1 was a correlational study (n = 117) in which participants completed measures of mindsets of fitness, physical exercise self-efficacy, fitness self-value and exercising frequency. In Study 2, an experimental study (N = 314), participants were randomly assigned to read a news article portraying fitness as either malleable (growth condition) or static (fixed condition). Participants again completed measures of mindsets, physical exercise self-efficacy, and fitness self-value as well as future exercise intentions. Results In Study 1, mindsets of fitness predicted exercise frequency, with stronger growth mindsets positively relating to self-reports of exercise frequency. And, self-efficacy and self-value mediated this relationship. In Study 2, we successfully manipulated fitness mindsets. Self-reported growth mindsets of fitness predicted greater exercise intentions and self-efficacy and self-value mediated this relationship. However, the manipulation failed to predict exercise intentions. Conclusions Study 1 provided initial support for the relationship between stronger growth mindsets of fitness and greater exercise efficacy, value and past exercise frequency. Study 2 offered experimental evidence of the potential to foster stronger growth mindsets. We discuss implications for future intervention development.

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... Mindsets, although extensively applied within educational contexts (e.g., Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007;Degol, Wang, Zhang, & Allerton, 2018;Paunesku et al., 2015) are also relevant in health domains including weight (e.g., Burnette, 2010), fitness (e.g., Orvidas, Burnette, & Russell, 2018), tobacco use and cessation (e.g., Kaufman, Thai, & Coa, 2018), and health behaviors (Bunda & Busseri, 2017). For example, individuals with growth, relative to fixed mindsets of weight, reported healthier eating and exercise behaviors (Parent & Alquist, 2016) and consumed fewer calories from unhealthy foods (Ehrlinger, Burnette, Park, Harrold, & Orvidas, 2017). ...
... Additionally, dieters who participated in a growth mindset of weight intervention, who faced severe setbacks, reported less weight gain at the end of the 12-week study, compared to those in an attentionmatched and a no treatment control condition (Burnette & Finkel, 2012). Furthermore, in a fitness context, individuals with a growth, relative to a fixed mindset of fitness, reported higher past exercise frequency and future exercise intentions (Orvidas et al., 2018). Also, within the context of changing unhealthy smoking habits, individuals with a growth, relative to a fixed mindset of smoking, reported being former smokers rather than current smokers (Kaufman et al., 2018). ...
... For instance, in a study on the role of mindsets in overcoming dieting-related setbacks, individuals' expectations regarding dieting success mediated the relationship between weight mindsets and regulatory efforts (Burnette, 2010). Similarly, findings from research on the role of mindsets of fitness on exercise behaviors indicated that the extent to which the individual values fitness as a part of their identity influenced both their past exercise habits and future exercise intentions (Orvidas et al., 2018). In the current research, we merge the mindsets perspective with achievement motivation theory and suggest that mindsets relate to eating intentions, at least in part, because they inform individuals' expectancy-value beliefs. ...
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Across two studies, we examined the relation between mindsets of health, expectancy‐value, and eating intentions. We also explored if relations are stronger for African Americans compared to White Americans. In Study 1, we conducted a correlational study (N = 158) to examine initial relations among constructs. In Study 2, we employed an experimental design (N = 205), and randomly assigned participants to either a growth mindset or a fixed mindset of health condition. In both studies, we measured participants’ mindsets of health, expectancy‐value beliefs, healthy eating intentions, past eating habits, and demographics. In Study 1, stronger growth mindsets of health predicted healthier eating intentions. Expectancy‐value beliefs, namely, the extent to which individuals value healthy eating habits and expect to be able to manage their eating, mediated this relation. In Study 2, we successfully manipulated mindsets of health and individuals in the growth mindset condition reported healthier eating intentions, compared to those in the fixed mindset condition. Expectancy‐value beliefs again mediated this link. Race only moderated the relation in Study 1, such that effects of growth mindsets on outcomes (i.e., eating intentions and expectancy‐value beliefs) are stronger for African Americans compared to White Americans. Study 1 provided initial evidence of a relationship between stronger growth mindsets of health and healthier beliefs and intentions. Study 2 offered experimental evidence. We discuss theoretical and practical implications.
... In a study investigating the effects of growth mindset on navigation ability, a unique portion of variance in self-reported navigation ability was found, suggesting that a growth mindset can encourage people to seek out navigation challenges and train themselves to be better navigators in daily life (He and Hegarty, 2020). Additionally, research on the relationship between growth mindset and obesity in adolescents has demonstrated that those with a growth mindset are more likely to be successful at losing weight (Orvidas et al., 2018). ...
... A positive correlation has been found between growth mindset and self-efficacy for health behaviors (Orvidas et al., 2018) and perceived control (Doron et al., 2009), such that individuals who possess a growth mindset are more likely to take control of their own health. Cognitive neuroscience approaches have been used to explore the mechanisms involved in mindset patterns, errors, and adjustments (Puusepp, 2021). ...
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Growth mindset refers to our core belief that our talents can be developed through practice, which may influence our thoughts and behaviors. Growth mindset has been studied in a variety of fields, including education, sports, and management. However, few studies have explored whether differences in individuals’ growth mindsets influence college students’ self-reported mental health. Using the Growth Mindset Scale, Adolescent Self-rating Life Events Checklist, and SCL-90 Scale, data was collected from 2,505 freshmen in a University in China. Findings revealed that the students within the growth mindset group scored significantly lower on “mental health issues” and “stress due to life events” than the students in the fixed mindset group. Our findings suggest that individuals with a growth mindset are less prone to mental health problems than individuals with a fixed mindset.
... Second, research highlights how beliefs regarding perceived control are critical for the adoption of and engagement in healthy behaviors (Godin & Kok, 1996). Previous mindset research provides evidence for the role of growth mindsets in encouraging greater efficacy (e.g., Orvidas et al., 2018), intrinsic value (e.g., and health (e.g., Schleider & Weisz, 2016). ...
... However, this also presents a weakness, as we cannot generalize the findings to other populations. Finally, another potential issue is that within the domain of health, it is typical for mindset beliefs to range from weaker growth mindset to stronger growth mindset, rather than fixed to growth (e.g., Burnette & Finkel, 2012;Orvidas et al., 2018;Thomas et al., 2019). The present work exemplifies this, with means falling above the midpoint of the mindset measurement scale. ...
Article
As growth mindset intervention research continues to develop, more work is needed to understand how to most effectively implement these interventions to encourage healthy cognitions and behaviors. The present study details the initial testing of a single-session, online mindset intervention (Healthy Body, Healthy Mind) for obese children and adolescents enrolled in obesity treatment clinics. Using a pre to post-test design, results indicated that growth mindsets of health and cognitions related to health behavior (nutrition and exercise self-efficacy and perceived control) increased significantly. However, despite efforts to mitigate feelings of culpability, blame also increased from pretest to post-test. Yet, body dissatisfaction decreased significantly. Intrinsic value for health behaviors remained unchanged from pretest to post-test. Analysis of narratives suggests that youth were engaged with the intervention content. Additionally, when youth’s narratives incorporated themes related to the changeable nature of the attribute, they also self-reported stronger growth mindsets. In the discussion, we note implications of findings for the development of large-scale health-based growth mindset interventions that are developmentally-appropriate for children and adolescents.
... Growth mindsets indicate a belief that people have the ability to change, grow, and succeed, even in the face of obstacles. Prior research, both correlational and experimental, across several mindset domains demonstrates that growth mindsets tend to predict greater expectations for success and greater levels of self-efficacy (Donohoe et al., 2012;Dweck & Leggett, 2000;Orvidas et al., 2018;Sriram, 2014;Thomas et al., 2019). ...
... Intuitively, the more one believes that their traits and abilities are malleable and that they can improve, the more one can see the value in growing or developing skills and abilities. Indeed, research demonstrates a link between growth mindsets and value in several domains (Dweck, 2000;Orvidas et al., 2018;Thomas et al., 2019). Here, growth mindset intervention research shows a significant effect on enjoyment of, and identification with, for example, education (Aronson et al., 2002) and increased intrinsic value and interest in a particular field (e.g., computer science, Burnette et al., (2020a). ...
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Motivated by the poorly understood nature of the term “mindsets” in the domain of entrepreneurship, we embarked on an exploration encompassing three research goals: a) defining and assessing growth mindsets in entrepreneurship, b) investigating how growth mindsets in entrepreneurship correlate with personality constructs, and c) exploring how growth mindsets predict motivation related to being an entrepreneur. Overall, findings from a sample of entrepreneurs (n = 264) and non-entrepreneurs (n = 330) reveal evidence consistent with the inference that a unidimensional, ‘growth mindset in entrepreneurship’ (GME) construct underlies five distinct mindset measures closely related to entrepreneurship: mindsets of leadership, mindsets of creativity, person mindsets, mindsets of intelligence, and mindsets of entrepreneurial ability. This GME construct correlated positively with conscientiousness and openness (albeit with small effects), but did not consistently correlate with extraversion, agreeableness, or neuroticism. We also found significant and positive relations for the GME with resilience and need for achievement, but a significant (and unexpected) negative correlation with risk-taking. With respect to motivation (operationalized via expectancy-value theory), GME predicted self-efficacy, but only for individuals who did not identify as entrepreneurs. GME exhibited limited utility in predicting enjoyment, utility, or identity evaluations related to value, but was robustly linked to cost evaluations. We discuss the implications of these findings and suggest directions for future research.
... In the domain of health, findings from a growing body of work suggest that mindsets affect motivation and effort toward the initiation of health behaviors. For example, growth mindsets about fitness predict both selfreported previous exercise habits and future exercise intentions (Orvidas et al., 2018). Mindsets about weight have also shown to predict health-relevant outcomes. ...
... Individuals who are overweight or obese early in the life span are at increased risk for CVD in adulthood (Baker et al., 2007;Must et al., 1992), and in adults increased BMI is associated with an increase in various CVD risk factors (Loprinzi et al., 2015). Levels of physical activity are consistently associated with BMI (Levin et al., 2003), and previous work indicates an association between mindsets about health and exercise frequency (Orvidas et al., 2018). As such, physical activity is one health behavior that could decrease the risk for CVD in AIs, acting as a mediator between mindsets about health and health-relevant outcomes such as BMI. ...
Article
American Indians are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease in adulthood, and levels of physical activity and body mass index associate with cardiovascular disease risk. Recent research indicates that one’s mindset may play a role in determining health behaviors and outcomes. In a sample of 105 American Indian college students, greater growth health mindset associated with lower body mass index. Bootstrapping analyses revealed a significant indirect effect of health mindset on body mass index through levels of physical activity. These findings suggest that interventions aiming to promote growth health mindsets may be successful in reducing risk for cardiovascular disease in American Indian college students.
... Incremental beliefs about body weight are also connected to less calorie consumption (Ehrlinger et al., 2017). Furthermore, incremental theories of fitness and body appearance are related to more self-reported physical activity, higher exercising frequency, and stronger exercising intentions (Lyons et al., 2015;Orvidas et al., 2018). ...
... Self-efficacy refers to expectations of a person to be able to successfully carry out desired actions on the basis of their own competence (Bandura, 1977). While our research supports the assumption that implicit theories are relevant for the setup of control beliefs, research in the domain of physical activity and smoking suggests that implicit theories are also a precondition for self-efficacy beliefs (Fitz et al., 2015;Orvidas et al., 2018). On a theoretical level, it seems reasonable to assume that implicit theories about health are a necessary (but insufficient) precondition for the setup of both health-related control beliefs and self-efficacy. ...
Article
Objective: Implicit theories of health describe the extent to which health is perceived as a fixed (entity theory) versus malleable (incremental theory) characteristic. In four studies, it was investigated how these theories correspond to health-related attitudes and behaviours. Design: In Study 1 (N = 130), the relationship of implicit theories of health and health-related behaviours was assessed via self-reports. To investigate their causal influence on health-related attitudes (Study 2; N = 357) and hypothetical food choices (Study 3; N = 351), implicit theories of health were manipulated using fictitious newspaper articles. In Study 4 (N = 235), the relationship of implicit theories and health behaviours in daily life was investigated using experience sampling. Results: Study 1 showed that a stronger incremental theory is positively associated with health behaviours like eating healthily or engaging in physical activity. Studies 2 and 3 revealed that a manipulation of implicit theories of health changes health-related attitudes and hypothetical food choices via an internal health locus of control. Study 4 showed that individuals with a stronger incremental theory reported more health-promoting behaviours in daily life. Conclusion: These findings extend the knowledge about implicit theories as they show that they are highly relevant for health promotion.
... This growing area of research indicates that mindsets about health-relevant outcomes (e.g. weight and fitness) affect motivation and engagement in health behaviors [19,20]. Individuals may also hold mindsets about health as a broad construct. ...
... high growth health mindset) would be more likely to engage in physical distancing behaviors and disinfecting behaviors. This hypothesis was based on previous research indicating that a growth health mindset predicts greater levels of engagement in behaviors that are health protective [19][20][21]. Specific to COVID-19, it is possible that holding a growth mindset about health shapes a belief that risk of infection is not pre-determined or fixed and can be minimized by protective behaviors. Our findings supported our hypothesis, raising the possibility that brief interventions targeting mindsets about health may promote physical distancing and disinfecting behaviors in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. ...
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The Novel-coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-2019) outbreak was declared a national emergency on March 13, 2020. To reduce the spread of the virus, Americans were asked to physically distance and to increase disinfecting behaviors such as hand washing. Previous research indicates that one’s mindset about health, or the degree to which they view health as fixed or modifiable, influences health behaviors. Current data indicates that American Indians (AIs) are at greater risk for COVID-19. As such, it is important to understand whether mindsets about health may affect behaviors which could prevent spread of the virus in AIs. In this exploratory investigation, a convenience sample of two hundred AI adults completed a questionnaire one month prior to the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic as a national emergency. They provided demographic information and completed a measure of health mindsets. The second wave of data was collected approximately one month later, where we collected a measure of physical distancing behavior and a measure of disinfecting behaviors. In AI adults, health mindset predicted frequency of physical distancing behaviors and disinfecting behaviors, with individuals who viewed health as less fixed engaging in more physical distancing and disinfecting behaviors, while individuals who viewed health as more fixed reported less physical distancing and less disinfecting behaviors. In AIs, growth health mindsets predicted physical distancing and disinfecting behaviors, both of which are important in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Interventions which are designed to promote growth mindsets of health may promote health-protective behaviors in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
... Similarly, research through an IPT lens has established that individuals who believe that fitness ability can change are more likely to have higher self-efficacy and enact an athletic identity by engaging in effort toward exercise (Orvidas et al., 2018). Evans et al.'s (2020) recent study with youth athletes established the effect that high incremental mindset can have on athlete participation and retention. ...
... Stakeholders and applied sport psychology practitioners interested in decreasing gender disparities in sport can act to reduce the effects of this sanctioning. First, research has shown that incremental intervention messaging affects athlete behavior and self-efficacy (Orvidas et al., 2018;Yeager et al., 2014). Using effort-based praise (e.g. ...
Article
This interpretivist study describes how female club soccer players (N = 28), ages 14–15 years, use implicit theories about ability and effort to manage their identities when their effort is sanctioned by peers. Data revealed that all participants had been labeled as a “try hard” (i.e. a person who is putting in too much effort) by their peers. This ascribed identity was used by participants’ peers to sanction their effort toward performances of excellence in athletics and academics. Secondary analysis indicated two strategies for negotiating this ascribed identity that reinforced an entity mindset (i.e. avoiding, concealing excellence), as well as three strategies that reinforced an incremental mindset (i.e. ignoring, rejecting, and embracing a “try hard” identity). Practical recommendations for communication strategies to bolster incremental mindset in adolescent female athletes are provided. Lay summary: The study explores how adolescent female athletes respond to a peer’s sanction on effort towards performances of excellence in athletics or academics. Given their sport experiences, study participants were more likely to believe that they can improve their performances through effort. As a result, participants responded in positive ways to peer sanctions. Recommendations for how to change talk about effort in sport contexts are provided.
... Finally, we manipulated negative emotion appraisals using two methods-a short popular news article intended to convey a narrative that closely aligned with lay theories about negative emotion and a video intended to provide information about negative emotion from a more scientific (i.e., self-regulatory) perspective. As both methods have demonstrated success in temporarily shifting various implicit theories and stress-induced arousal appraisals (e.g., Aronson et al. 2002;Burnette 2010;Crum et al. 2013;Nussbaum and Dweck 2008;Orvidas et al. 2018), we used a combined approach in an effort to strengthen the effects of the manipulation. However, this choice makes it difficult to disentangle whether the article or video was the more effective component in manipulating negative emotion appraisals. ...
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The current research explored appraisals of the negative emotions that arise in the context of setbacks. We proposed that experiencing negative emotions could be appraised as either enhancing or debilitating. Across two studies, we investigated the hypotheses that individuals who perceive experiencing negative emotion to be enhancing, relative to debilitating, would report experiencing less severe negative emotions and engage in more mastery-oriented behavioral strategies after encountering setbacks. In Study 1 (N = 283), we examined initial associations among negative emotion appraisals, severity of emotions experienced, and behavioral strategies. In Study 2 (N = 141), in a preregistered report, we experimentally manipulated negative emotion appraisals to test causal relationships among these constructs. Results supported hypotheses in Study 1. In Study 2, we manipulated negative emotion appraisals but failed to shift self-regulatory processes.
... This encourages these students to use effort to overcome difficulties and attribute poor performances to a lack of effort, rather than of ability (Blackwell et al., 2007). Incremental theorists tend to be mastery oriented, display low helpless attribution, recover more quickly from failures, devote increased effort and value to tasks, and demonstrate higher levels of selfregulation strategies than entity theorist (Aronson, Fried, & Good, 2002;Burnette et al., 2013;Hong, Chiu, Dweck, Lin, & Wan, 1999;Karlen & Compagnoni, 2017;Orvidas, Burnette, & Russell, 2018;Robins & Pals, 2002;Schroder et al., 2017). Students with an entity theory believe that abilities are innate and stable, such as a set of predetermined strengths and weaknesses or a fixed talent (Haimovitz & Dweck, 2017). ...
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This study first aims to investigate the role of students' implicit theories on their two grit facets (perseverance of effort [PE], consistency of interest [CI]) and on their achievement goals, learning motivation, and achievement in the context of a challenging academic task. Secondly, the study examines whether PE and CI are related to students' achievement goals, learning motivation and achievement. We surveyed 1215 students from the upper secondary school level with a mean age of 17.5 years, who completed a compulsory academic certificate paper over approximately one school year. The results of this study reveal that a more incremental theory was positively correlated with students' PE and CI. Furthermore, an incremental theory supports adaptive motivational patterns, such as stronger learning goals and higher intrinsic motivation, through which implicit theories are weakly related to academic achievement. This study finds evidence that PE and CI exhibit different motivational patterns. Whereas PE is positively correlated with mastery goals, performance-approach goals, and intrinsic motivation, CI demonstrates negative correlations with performance-approach, performance-avoidance goals and extrinsic motivation. In addition, PE is only weakly and CI not at all correlated with academic achievement through more adaptive learning goals and intrinsic motivation. Overall, the results confirm the significance of implicit theories for adaptive motivational patterns in the context of an educational achievement task. Finally, this study supports the claim that PE and CI should be treated separately due to their different correlational paths with motivational variables.
... Recent work extended the mindset approach to understand health behaviors including exercise intentions (Orvidas et al., 2018), dieting goal persistence (e.g., Burnette, 2010), addiction treatment intentions , coping strategies for psychological distress , and smoking cessation (Kauffman et al., 2017). For example, inducing a growth mindset about weight served as a buffer against weightgain following severe dieting setbacks (Burnette and Finkel, 2012) and predicted healthier food choices (Ehrlinger et al., 2017). ...
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Across two studies, we examined the double-edged sword hypothesis, which outlines effects of weight-related beliefs and public health messages on physical and mental health. The double-edged sword hypothesis proposes that growth mindsets and messages (weight is changeable) predict reduced well-being and stigma via an increase in blame, but also predict greater well-being via an increase in efficacy and less stigma via a reduction in essentialist thinking. We tested this model in a correlational study (N = 311) and in an experimental study, randomly assigning participants (N = 392) to different weight-based public health messages. In Study 1, growth mindsets predicted greater onset blame and more offset efficacy. Blame did not predict any of the outcomes. However, offset efficacy predicted reduced risk for eating disorders, fewer unhealthy weight control behaviors, and less psychological distress. And, growth mindsets had a negative indirect effect on outcomes. In Study 2, we experimentally demonstrated that a changeable message about the nature of weight, designed to also reduce blame, indirectly decreased eating disorder risk, unhealthy weight control behaviors, body shame, and prejudice through increased offset efficacy and decreased social essentialism. This work contributes to our theoretical understanding of the psychological consequences of weight beliefs and messages on well-being and stigma.
... Amazon Mechanical Turk is commonly used in social science studies as a credible source collecting sufficient quality data (Buhrmester, Kwang, & Gosling, 2011). The method to collect athlete participants by using online communications has been increasingly conducted in sport psychology literature (e.g., Orvidas, Burnette, & Russell, 2018) because it allows researchers to get more diverse samples than the typical samples of college students. To obtain data from athletes, we defined an athlete as a person who is participating in sport competitions and included a description in the study recruitment post that clearly stated that only athletes can participate in the survey. ...
Article
Purpose: The purpose of the study is to examine how the combination of “what” (e.g., mastery- and performance-avoidance goals) and “why” (e.g., external regulation) are related to sport participant’s goal attainment. To examine this phenomenon, we used achievement goal theory (AGT) and self-determination theory (SDT). Past research has shown that avoidance goals generally are associated with negative outcomes. In this study, we hypothesized that avoidance goals would positively generate goal attainment through the pathway of effort. Moreover, the indirect association would be moderated by the level of external regulation. Method: Based on a sample of sport participants (N = 390), mediation and moderated mediation analyses were used to test the hypotheses. Result: Both mastery- and performance-avoidance goals were positively related to goal attainment through effort. These relationships were moderated at the value of high and moderate levels of external regulation. Conclusions: The results suggest that, in contrast to the general assumption, avoidance goals are not always detrimental. Rather, the research showed that the combination of avoidance goals and external regulation would be positively associated with goal attainment. This may be the reason that coaches’ controlling behaviors (e.g., punishment or reward) are commonly utilized, and some people believe that external regulation is effective in sport. However, the relationships should be carefully interpreted because the associations should not last long and may be an unhealthy way to improve athletes’ performance.
... Amazon Mechanical Turk is commonly used in social science studies as a credible source collecting sufficient quality data (Buhrmester, Kwang, & Gosling, 2011). The method to collect athlete participants by using online communications has been increasingly conducted in sport psychology literature (e.g., Orvidas, Burnette, & Russell, 2018) because it allows researchers to get more diverse samples than the typical samples of college students. To obtain data from athletes, we defined an athlete as a person who is participating in sport competitions and included a description in the study recruitment post that clearly stated that only athletes can participate in the survey. ...
... Referring to the nonacademic character, Orvidas et al. [66] pointed out that growth mindset influences the increased frequency of exercise and transmits influence through appreciation of exercise and perceptions of exercise among undergraduates. In addition, Tang et al. [67] revealed that the characteristics of college students in German and Poland who are aware of social coherence (called Horizontal) tend to be a mediator on growth mindset. ...
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The objectives included examining the mediation role of growth mindset as the causal model of the factors affecting mathematics learning outcomes of 514 ninth grade students who were measured by the national standardized scores rubric. Two models with a relationship structure of two different variables were compared: (model A) the model without a growth mindset; and the growth mindset as the mediating variable as (model B). The research tools comprised of 1) Questionnaires on factors of Growth Mindset, Achievement Motivation, Attitude towards Mathematics, Mathematical Self-Efficacy, Background Knowledge, and Mathematical Achievement with a five-point Likert scale pattern, and 2) Mathematics Aptitude test. The obtained data was analyzed by Path and Mediation analysis with Mplus 7.4 program. It was concluded that the model with a Growth Mindset as a mediating variable between factors and mathematics grades was most consistent with empirical data. The background knowledge had the highest indirect and total effect, while mathematical aptitude had the most direct effect on mathematics learning outcomes. Additionally, the growth mindset was statistically significant and had a positive direct effect on mathematics learning outcomes. All factors in the model were jointly able to explain the variance in mathematics learning outcomes by 82.90%. It also revealed that growth mindset played a role as a partial mediation in achievement motivation, mathematics background knowledge and particularly in mathematics aptitude. Therefore, the growth mindset did not only influence Mathematics learning outcomes but it also had the positive relationship linking to each key factors that helped promote students to have better performance.
... In education, Yeager et al. (2019) implemented a light protocol (less than an hour) of teaching incremental beliefs to 12 490 students and observed a positive effect on grades. Orvidas et al. (2018) fostered incremental fitness beliefs, with a basic manipulation (i.e., reading a text reinforcing the malleability of fitness), and highlighted a significant increase in intention to exercise. Yeager et al. (2013b) manipulated incremental personality beliefs and showed a significant decrease in aggressivity after a victimization experience. ...
Article
Implicit theories focus on how ability may be perceived by individuals. There are two main beliefs: entity beliefs (i.e., driving ability is a gift) and incremental beliefs (i.e., driving ability is improvable through effort). Implicit theories have been studied in various domains (e.g., education, sport), but never in driving, even though they could improve the knowledge of drivers’ psychological characteristics. The first objective of the present study was to develop and validate a questionnaire measuring implicit theories in driving. The second objective was to assess the predictive role of implicit theories on violations and driving self-efficacy, and the moderating role of gender. In study 1, confirmatory factor analysis, analyses of gender invariance, and concurrent validity were assessed to validate the questionnaire named Implicit Theories in Driving Questionnaire (ITDQ). In study 2, the predictive role of implicit theories on violations and driving self-efficacy was evaluated using multiple regression analyses. Moderation analyses evaluated the moderating role of gender on the relationships between implicit theories and violations, along with driving self-efficacy. The ITDQ showed acceptable psychometric properties. The results highlighted that entity beliefs positively predicted aggressive violations and negatively predicted driving self-efficacy. Conversely, incremental beliefs negatively predicted ordinary violations and positively predicted driving self-efficacy. The ITDQ is a valid scale now available for assessing implicit theories in driving, that have been shown to influence self-reported driving behavior. Future research on implicit theories in driving may help to better understand the psychological characteristics of at-risk drivers and improve driver’s training, to reduce the number of road accidents.
... Data were also collected using a revised form of Dweck's Mindset Instrument (De Castella & Byrne, 2015), which only changed Dweck's (1999) original instrument by making items reflect a first-person perspective (using I statements). Although the mindset instrument typically uses a 6-point Likert scale, there was precedent for using a standard 5-point scale (Orvidas et al., 2018;Spinath et al., 2003). In personal communication (May 3, 2019), Dweck explained that she normally uses the 6point scale because it "requires participants to make a decision-a midpoint allows people to not decide which they believe." ...
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Aim/Purpose The purpose of this systematic grounded theory study was to generate a model explaining how grit and a growth mindset develop and influence persistence in doctoral completers. Since doctoral attrition has historically plagued institutions of higher learning, with conflicting explanations reported in the literature, program leaders will benefit by understanding factors associated with persistence. Background Although the initial literature regarding doctoral persistence relied on the more traditional student involvement and integration models of higher education, the changing landscape of doctoral education—a steep increase in the number of distance education programs, as well as students’ time and energy constraints—calls for a closer look at individual student factors over engagement efforts. Methodology The systematic approach of grounded theory was adopted to fulfill the purpose of constructing a model explaining the process of grit and growth mindset development in doctoral students who persist to completion. Both quantitative data from a total population of 51 completers, in the form of the Short Grit Scale instrument and Dweck’s Mindset Instrument, as well as qualitative data from interviews and reflective journals of a sample of 12 doctoral completers were analyzed to produce the Grit Growth Model suggested by the findings. Contribution The Grit Growth Model contributes empirical evidence of the antecedents of the characteristics of grit and growth mindset, which has been limited in the literature to date. A unique contribution of this study is the suggestion of a departure from the typical approach of leaders in post-graduate institutions from a student-integration/engagement approach, to a more direct personal development strategy, with specific direction given by the Grit Growth Model, as well as the additional Student Development Model of Doctoral Persistence. Findings The findings produced the Grit Growth Model, which revealed sub-themes of expectations, engagement, service, and personal loss in the life experiences of the doctoral completers, as well as values surrounding religious faith and passion. Personal characteristics of flexibility and shame resilience were identified, and findings confirmed prior persistence literature that acknowledged the imminent value of personal and academic relationships. The central theme of personal and social responsibility (PSR) carries theoretical, empirical, and practical implications for doctoral or any other leaders who wish to develop grit in others, as well as individuals seeking to develop the trait within themselves. Recommendations for Practitioners Given the findings of this study, doctoral program leaders should make a concerted effort to add a direct student development focus to their portfolio of strategies to support student persistence, as visualized in the Student Development Model of Doctoral Persistence. Programmatic elements, such as direct provision of grit, growth mindset, and PSR resources through doctoral student communication platforms, could deliver persistence support by means of advancing student metacognition of these principles. Additionally, modules that introduce and inspire growth in these areas using the quantitative instruments for grit and a growth mindset, followed by reflective journaling, direct instruction videos, and post-tests, are suggested. Recommendation for Researchers Future researchers in any field can build upon this model by replacing doctoral persistence with their own long-term goals or achievements and representing their findings by adjusting the model accordingly. In this way, the significance of the Grit Growth Model lies in its adaptability to future inquiry, providing a meaningful template to illustrate confirmatory or alternative findings. Impact on Society For educators at any level or individuals who wish to develop grit and a growth mindset within themselves or others studying the array of categories of experiences and beliefs on the Grit Growth Model will illuminate multiple paths to follow on this quest. Accessing resources from Duckworth’s Character Lab (https://characterlab.org/), Dweck’s mindset works© website (https://www.mindsetworks.com/default), or the AAC&U’s Personal and Social Responsibility site (https://www.aacu.org/core_commitments) are suggested concrete starting points. Future Research In subsequent research along these same lines, it would be desirable to solicit a follow-up interview to dig deeply into more nuanced life experiences that may not emerge in the initial interview. Additionally, due to the limitations of snowball sampling, future confirmatory research should focus on samples from a wider population who completed at a more diverse group of universities. Finally, although the interview sample size of 12 participants produced findings with theoretical saturation, a larger sample from a wider variety of disciplines and demographics, including unmarried doctoral completers, may paint a more complete picture of the common experiences and values of completers from a broader range of personal and professional backgrounds.
... Finally, as this study focuses mainly on the behavioral factors that are conducive for forming habits of using wearable activity trackers, we did not consider the personality and motivational aspects of habit formation. Research has found that self-control, self-determination [62][63][64], conscientiousness, and a growth mindset [65] are predictive of healthy habit formation, which, in turn, is predictive of physical activity or exercise behaviors. For example, the positive relationship between trait self-control and physical activity is mediated through behavioral automaticity, a key component of habit [62]. ...
Article
Background Wearable activity trackers are popular devices used to motivate behavior change. Wearable activity trackers are especially beneficial for encouraging light physical activity such as walking, which is an ideal behavior for older adults or individuals who cannot be physically active at moderate and vigorous levels. A common problem is that people do not continue to use these wearable devices, with initial behavioral change gains eroding as people disengage. Limited research is available regarding the continued use of wearable activity trackers. The habit formation literature may provide insights into the long-term use of wearables and other health informatics devices. Objective This study aims to uncover the mechanism underlying the long-term continued use of wearable devices among older adults through the theoretical lens of habit formation. Methods In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 participants who were aged 65 years or older and had used wearable activity trackers for more than 6 months to understand their experiences and the strategies they employed to support continued use. Results Thematic analysis of data revealed 8 themes related to habit formation, including aspects in initiation and goal setting, use of contextual cues, action planning, and coping planning. Long-term users tended to have meaningful initiation of wearable activity trackers. They usually started with a small behavioral change goal and gradually increased it. They used consistent time and locational cues to make the use of wearable activity trackers routine. Long-term users also used creative contextual cues and reminders to facilitate action planning, engaged in coping planning to deal with anticipated problems, and had a positive mindset and inventive strategies for managing unfulfillment and lapses. Conclusions The results of this qualitative study of long-term users of wearable activity trackers suggest specific ways to enhance long-term habit formation among older adults. These best practices by long-term users can inform the future design of technology-based behavior interventions.
... There is some evidence from previous work to support this concept. Recent studies demonstrate relationships between a growth mindset of health and better health promotion intentions [10], decreased smoking [11], higher quality of life assessments [12], and better dietary success [13][14][15], as well as improved postoperative pain perceptions and analgesic use [16,17]. Furthermore, accumulating evidence indicates that health mindsets affect motivation, effort, and engagement in health behaviors. ...
Article
Background Health mindsets can be viewed on a continuum of malleability from fixed (health cannot be altered) to growth (health can be affected by behavior). We propose that mindsets may influence the health perceptions of healthy adolescents as well as the health behaviors of adolescents with a chronic illness.Methods In Study 1, we surveyed healthy adolescents about their health mindsets and their judgments of illness in response to vignettes of fictional others. In Study 2, we measured the health mindsets and health behaviors of adolescents with type 1 diabetesResultsIn Study 1, healthy adolescents with a fixed health mindset were more likely to rate fictional others as being less healthy, less likely to recover, and more vulnerable to additional diseases. In Study 2, a growth mindset was associated with a greater frequency of glucose monitoring among younger, but not older, adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Further, growth mindset was associated with lower HbA1c levels for younger adolescents.Conclusions Health mindsets may shape views of the implications of illness or injury for overall health and, in adolescents with a chronic condition, may interact with age to influence health behaviors and outcomes.
... During the past decade, researchers have adapted the research on implicit theories into the health domain. For example, researchers found that implicit theories of health predicted people's engagement in health promoting behaviors, such that those held an incremental theory of health were more likely to engage in physical exercise and healthy eating than those holding an entity theory of health (Bunda and Busseri, 2019;Burnette, 2010;Burnette and Finkel, 2012;Ehrlinger et al., 2017;Orvidas et al., 2018;Thomas et al., 2019;Schreiber et al., 2020). Recent research also suggested that smokers held an incremental theory of smoking displayed stronger intention to quit in the future than those held an entity theory of smoking (Thai et al., 2020). ...
Article
This research investigated how implicit theories of health and consideration of future consequences influence people’s engagement in health-protective behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic in China. Three hundred and ninety Chinese completed the study during the peak period of COVID-19 pandemic in China. Gender, education level, implicit theories of health, and consideration of future consequences were significant predictors of people’s engagement in health-protective behaviors. Consideration of future consequences mediated the effect of implicit (incremental) theories of health on people’s engagement in health-protective behaviors. Implications of the current research for promoting engagement in health-protective behaviors during pandemics of infectious diseases and directions for future research are discussed.
... The burgeoning research on implicit theories originated in studies of academic achievement (e.g., mindset of intelligence), but has extended to multiple domains in recent years, including personality (Fernandez-Gonzalez, Calvete, & Sanchez-Alvarez, 2020), weight management (Orvidas, Burnette, & Russell, 2018), as well as anxiety and depression (Schroder, Dawood, Yalch, Donnellan, & Moser, 2015). Empirical evidence suggests that incremental theories promote a set of positive outcomes in various life domains. ...
Article
Socioeconomic status (SES) is one of the well-recognized determinants of individual academic achievement. Past studies have mostly focused on the effect of SES ranking but not on that of perceptions of the changeability of SES (mindset of SES). The current study addressed this gap by investigating the association between mindset of SES and academic achievement among adolescents. We also tested the roles of hopefulness and school engagement in explaining this association. Questionnaires were administered to 686 middle school students. Measures for mindset of SES, hopefulness, school engagement, and academic achievement were collected along with a set of sociodemographic variables. The results showed that growth mindset of SES was associated with higher academic achievement. An indirect pathway was found for this association through higher levels of hopefulness and school engagement. The findings highlight the importance of mindset of SES in shaping the academic achievement of adolescents. Future educational intervention programs might focus on growth mindset of SES, hopefulness, and school engagement to enhance adolescents' academic achievement.
... Mindset theory is related to kindred concepts and theory of motivation, personality and development (Dweck & Yeager, 2019). Previous research has found that a strong growth mindset is associated to higher fitness and greater exercise efficacy, value, and past greater exercise frequency (Orvidas, Burnette, & Russell, 2018). ...
Article
The main goal of the study was to explore the relationship between passion, grit and mindset in a group of football players in Norway. The sample had 49 participants. In two different groups in relation to age and level. Sogndal elite team (N = 22) (Elite) and Sogndal Junior team (N = 27) (Junior). To assess the level of passion the passion scale was used, an eight-item scale. To measure grit the GritS scale was used. The scale has 8 items. Mindset was measured with the Theories of Intelligence Scale (TIS). The scale has 8-items. To measure harmonious and obsessive passion The Passion scale was used. The results show that the elite team did have the highest score in four out of five factors. Significant difference between elite and Junior was, however, not found. The results indicate significant correlations between the variables; passion-grit (r = 0.418, p < .01), passion-harmonious passion (r = 0.624, p < .01), grit-mindset (r = 0.309, p < .05) and grit-harmonious passion (r = 0.473, p < .01). Elite: a significant correlation for the variables passion-harmonious passion (r = 0.558, p < .01), grit and harmonious passion (r = 0.440, p < .05) and harmonious-obsessive passion (r =. 608, p < .01). Junior: a significant correlation for the variables passion-grit (r = 0.647, p < .01), passion-harmonious passion (r =. 702, p < .01), and grit-harmonious passion (r = 0.558, p < .01). Fischer r-to-z transformation indicate significant difference between elite and junior group for the correlation passion-grit (p = .04) and harmonious-obsessive passion (p = .01). The findings are discussed in relation to previous research exploring the relationships between passion, grit and mindset in achievement contexts. Consequently, the differences found in association between passion and grit, might imply that different personality traits may be characteristic for football players at different levels.
... Lyons and colleagues (2013) found that young women who believed that that general body appearance is changeable reported higher levels of physical activity than those who thought that body appearance is stable and fixed. In addition, implicit theories about fitness have been demonstrated to predict self-efficacy, self-value, and exercise frequency (Orvidas et al., 2018). In the area of weight and weight control, Burnette (2010) and Burnette and Finkel (2012) found that individuals who believed that body weight is malleable had more optimistic expectations about their weight loss, showed greater persistence, and gained less weight after dietary setbacks than people with an entity theory of body weight. ...
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Some people believe that their own health is rather malleable and can be changed (incremental theory), whereas other people believe that their health is relatively fixed (entity theory). Previous research suggests that individuals who hold a strong incremental theory of health have more positive health‐related attitudes and engage in more health‐promoting behaviors in everyday life. However, less is known about the interpersonal effects of an incremental theory of health. A strong incremental theory of health could have detrimental consequences, such as increasing blame and reducing social support towards others who are ill. To test this, two studies (Study 1: N = 433, Study 2: N = 397) were conducted in which implicit theories of health (incremental vs. entity) were experimentally manipulated, and participants were presented with vignettes describing individuals suffering from different illnesses. The dependent variables included blame, sympathy, outcome expectancy, and social support. Study 1 demonstrated that an incremental theory of health increased blame towards people suffering from an illness, regardless of whether a physical or mental illness was presented, and blame indirectly attenuated social support. Study 2 showed that an incremental theory increased outcome expectancy, which indirectly amplified social support. In sum, this research suggests that an incremental theory of health may decrease social support via blame, but increases in outcome expectancy may counteract this effect.
... Even though patterns of self-regulation could transcend different domains, theories of intelligence are believed to be domain specific. For instance, a person can have a growth mindset in a certain domain, such as physical activity, but a fixed mindset in another, such as language learning (Orvidas, Burnette, & Russell, 2018). A comparative study will contrast the current scale with one that includes different-domain items or domain-independent items. ...
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Researchers often propose that seeking critical, constructive feedback is due to a growth mindset. However, there is no evidence that mindset is related to feedback-seeking behaviour. This study examines for the first time the relation between mindset and feedback-seeking behaviour; moreover, it is the first time when this topic is examined in a sample of pre-service teachers. A number of n = 68 pre-service teachers at a North American university designed posters in an online game that assessed their learning choices (willingness to seek critical feedback and to revise posters) and poster performance. Then, they completed an online mindset survey regarding their ability to design posters. Results show that growth mindset does not correlate with feedback-seeking choices, revising choices, and poster performance. However, growth mindset moderates the relation between performance and learning choices (critical feedback and revising): individuals endorsing higher levels of growth mindset designed significantly better posters only when choosing higher levels of critical feedback or revision. Impact and implications: Results reveal two novel theoretical distinctions: (1) this first examination of the relation between mindset and learning choices shows that growth mindset does not drive learning choices, but it seems to drive pre-service teachers' response to critical feedback; (2) fixed and growth mindset seem to be distinct mindset constructs, as they have different effects. As the influence of critical feedback on performance is moderated by pre-service teachers' differential endorsement of growth mindset, implications include interventions and teaching practice that inculcate a growth mindset and a critical feedback-seeking attitude in pre-service teachers. These interventions are necessary, as most learners would not know that constructive criticism is more beneficial for learning than praise, regardless of the mindset they endorse.
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Successful aging broadly refers to the development and maintenance of favorable life outcomes with increasing age. We propose that the likelihood of people aging successfully is enhanced by routinely engaging in habitually repeated, enjoyable actions (henceforth, “rituals”) that cultivate their personal resources in the physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual domains. We suggest that fixed mindsets will impede the discovery and adoption of such rituals, whereas growth mindsets will facilitate people exploring, trialing, and perpetually enacting rituals that help them age successfully. After defining successful aging, we explain the nature of mindsets and discuss their role in systematically cultivating relevant physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual resources. Practical examples of personal resource-building rituals are provided throughout. We outline several avenues for future research to test hypotheses derived from the propositions we have advanced and illustrate how mindsets might be deliberately fostered to support successful aging. We also suggest potential boundary conditions on the utility of growth mindsets.
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We investigated if growth mindsets—the belief in the malleable nature of human attributes—are negatively related to psychological distress and if they are positively related to treatment value and active coping. In the meta-analysis, we included articles published between 1988 and 2019, written in English, that reported on mindsets as well as a qualifying dependent variable and included information required to calculate an effect size. With a random effects approach, meta-analytic results (k = 72 samples, N = 17,692) demonstrated that mindsets relate to, albeit with minimal effects, to distress, treatment and coping. Specifically, there is a negative relation between growth mindsets and psychological distress (r = −0.220), a positive relation between growth mindsets and treatment value (r = 0.137) and a positive relation between growth mindsets and active coping (r = 0.207). Differences in mindset domain, assessment method of mindsets and timing of assessments moderated effects. There were not differences based on operationalization of psychological distress outcome or sample characteristics (i.e., developmental stage, diagnostic status, ethnicity). We discuss theoretical and practical applications of the findings.
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This chapter addresses when, how, and why self and partner regulation processes operate in close relationships. Two forms of dyadic regulation are discussed. The first explores why and how people in relationships try to change each other and the consequences that ensue. Analysis of relevant research suggests that successful relationship improvement requires the person who wants change to communicate in ways that maintain targets’ felt-regard and the person targeted for change to be sufficiently responsive to their partner’s desires and influence attempts. The second examines how relationship partners can protect or buffer their relationship from the hostility and withdrawal that often accompanies attachment insecurity. Recent research indicates that partners can help insecure individuals regulate their negative affect and behavior more effectively, resulting in more satisfying and stable relationships. The final section demonstrates how a dyadic perspective can be applied to other regulation processes, pushing research in new directions.
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Intimates regularly confront their partners to motivate them to change undesirable behaviors. Nevertheless, contextual perspectives suggest that qualities of the partner may determine the implications of such attempts. Consistent with these ideas, a pilot study of romantic relationships, an observational study of newlyweds, and a diary study of married couples demonstrated that partner depression moderates the association between confrontational partner-regulation behaviors and partners' motivation, such that confrontational behaviors were associated with marginally greater motivation to resolve problems among partners who were experiencing relatively few depressive symptoms, but significantly less motivation among partners who were experiencing relatively more depressive symptoms. Furthermore, Study 2 provided evidence for the mechanism of these effects-relationship self-efficacy. Finally, these studies also demonstrated that benevolent behaviors were particularly motivating for partners who were experiencing more depressive symptoms. These findings highlight the important roles played by depression, relationship self-efficacy, and context in interpersonal communication. © 2015 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
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This study explored the relationship between implicit theories of the body (ITB) and self-reported physical activity. ITB are beliefs about the malleability of the body. Individuals may hold entity ITB (that body appearance is fixed) or incremental ITB (that body appearance can be changed). Female undergraduate students (N = 313) completed an online survey assessing ITB, physical activity, and discrepancy between actual and ideal body weight. Participants endorsing incremental ITB reported more physical activity. A significant ITB by weight discrepancy interaction emerged. Developing interventions targeting implicit theories of the body may be one way to increase physical activity.
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Many conceptualizations of forgiveness currently exist in the forgiveness literature. The present study adds another perspective to the forgiveness discussion by investigating lay definitions of forgiveness, as well as reasons for forgiveness and nonforgiveness. In Study 1, undergraduate students completed a questionnaire packet in which they provided three narratives of interpersonal offense: a time when they had been hurt and then forgave the offender, a time when they had been hurt and did not forgive, and a time when they had hurt someone else and were forgiven. Respondents were also asked questions about their conceptualization of forgiveness and the factors that influence their decisions to forgive or not forgive. In Study 2, community adults participated in interviews during which they described a time when they had been betrayed or hurt. Following their story, participants answered questions about their definitions of and motivations for forgiveness. A number of important themes in forgiveness definition and motivation are identified, and important similarities and differences between the under-graduate and community samples are discussed. In particular, it is noted that primary motivations for forgiveness appear to be largely self-focused, rather than altruistic.
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Forgivingness is the disposition to forgive interpersonal trans-gressions over time and across situations. There is currently no acceptable measure of forgivingness for use in testing theoretical propositions. The authors describe a five-item scenario-based scale, the Transgression Narrative Test of Forgivingness (TNTF). In five studies examining 518 university students from three disparate universities, the authors assess the item and full-scale functioning of the TNTF and its concurrent and 8-week predictive validity relative to trait anger, rumination, neuroticism, agreeableness, and hostility. Test-retest reliability and stability of item locations were both good. Norms are pre-sented by gender, ethnicity, and religious activity. The TNTF is a brief measure of forgivingness that is not theory dependent and is therefore useful in basic and intervention research from a variety of theoretical perspectives.
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In the context of the development of prototypic assessment instruments in the areas of cognition, personality, and adaptive functioning, the issues of standardization, norming procedures, and the important psychometrics of test reliability and validity are evaluated critically. Criteria, guidelines, and simple rules of thumb are provided to assist the clinician faced with the challenge of choosing an appropriate test instrument for a given psychological assessment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Spouses tend to gain weight over the early years of marriage. Given that maintaining a healthy weight is a common goal among newlyweds, and given the importance of partner support to goal achievement, the current study examined whether the quality of spouses' supportive behaviors in early marriage predicted weight gain over the first 4 years of marriage. We observed 169 newlywed couples discussing a personal goal, coded those discussions for the quality of both partners' support behaviors, and assessed weight every 6 months for 4 years. Husbands and wives both tended to gain more weight to the extent that they engaged in behaviors indicative of a lack of motivation while seeking support, such as whining, complaining, and avoiding responsibility. Among husbands, but not wives, this effect was moderated by their partners' tendencies to engage in oppositional behaviors like criticism, confrontation, and rejection while providing support. These effects held controlling for marital satisfaction, depressive symptoms, neuroticism, and both partners' income. These findings demonstrate the importance of spouses' supportive behaviors for goal achievement, illuminate the dyadic nature of weight gain, and demonstrate the benefits of negativity in some contexts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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This article examines the longitudinal relationship between forgiveness and the restoration of closeness and commitment in relationships that have been damaged by transgressive behavior. Participants were 201 university students who had recently incurred painful interpersonal transgressions. The revenge and benevolence dimensions of forgiveness appeared to facilitate later closeness and commitment, whereas the avoidance dimension of forgiveness appeared to have a reciprocal causal relationship with closeness and commitment. Ramifications for the association between forgiveness and reconciliation are discussed.
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Exploitation is a fact of life for social organisms, and natural selection gives rise to revenge mechanisms that are designed to deter such exploitations. However, humans may also possess cognitive forgiveness mechanisms designed to promote the restoration of valuable social relationships following exploitation. In the current article, the authors test the hypothesis that decisions about forgiveness result from a computational system that combines information about relationship value and exploitation risk to produce decisions about whom to forgive following interpersonal offenses. The authors examined the independent and interactive effects of relationship value and exploitation risk across two studies. In Study 1, controlling for other constructs related to forgiveness, the authors assessed relationship value and exploitation risk. In Study 2, participants experienced experimental manipulations of relationship value and exploitation risk. Across studies, using hypothetical and actual offenses and varied forgiveness measures, the combination of low exploitation risk and high relationship value predicted the greatest forgiveness.
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How should partners discuss the problems that arise over the course of their intimate relationships? Prior studies have provided inconsistent answers to this question, with some suggesting that partners benefit by avoiding negative behaviors and others suggesting that partners benefit by engaging in negative behaviors. The 2 longitudinal studies of newlyweds described here reconcile these inconsistent findings by revealing that direct negative problem-solving behaviors interact with the severity of the problems couples face in their relationships to account for changes in relationship satisfaction. Whereas spouses' tendencies to blame, command, and reject their partners predicted steeper declines in their own marital satisfaction when exhibited in the context of relationships facing only minor problems, those same behaviors predicted more stable satisfaction in relationships facing more severe problems. Subsequent analyses revealed that changes in the severity of the problems themselves mediated these effects. By contrast, indirect negative communications were associated with stably lower levels of satisfaction regardless of problem severity. The current findings join others in highlighting the theoretical importance of accounting for the relational context when examining the implications of various interpersonal processes.
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Tested hypotheses about the determinants of global ratings of marital satisfaction, the role of reciprocity in marital interaction, and the influence of external experiences on the marital relationship. 7 nondistressed married couples made daily observations of their spouse's pleasurable and displeasurable behavior for 14 consecutive days and daily ratings of the enjoyability of their outside experiences and of their satisfaction with the relationship. Multiple regression analysis, with satisfaction ratings as the criterion variable, showed that both types of displeasurable behavior contributed to rated satisfaction, accounting together for 65% of the explainable variance. For pleasurable behaviors, a sex difference was noted, with males emphasizing pleasurable instrumental behaviors from their spouses and females emphasizing pleasurable affectional behavior. The immediate tendency to reciprocate displeasurable behaviors was stronger than that for pleasurable behaviors. The influence of external experiences was negligible. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Multiple sets of empirical research findings on guilt are reviewed to evaluate the view that guilt should be understood as an essentially social phenomenon that happens between people as much as it happens inside them. Guilt appears to arise from interpersonal transactions (including transgressions and positive inequities) and to vary significantly with the interpersonal context. In particular, guilt patterns appear to be strongest, most common, and most consistent in the context of communal relationships, which are characterized by expectations of mutual concern. Guilt serves various relationship-enhancing functions, including motivating people to treat partners well and avoid transgressions, minimizing inequities and enabling less powerful partners to get their way, and redistributing emotional distress.
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The authors advance an interdependence analysis of willingness to sacrifice. Support for model predictions was revealed in 6 studies (3 cross-sectional survey studies, 1 simulation experiment, 2 longitudinal studies) that used a novel self-report measure and a behavioral measure of willingness to sacrifice. Willingness to sacrifice was associated with strong commitment, high satisfaction, poor alternatives, and high investments; feelings of commitment largely mediated the associations of these variables with willingness to sacrifice. Moreover, willingness to sacrifice was associated with superior couple functioning, operationalized in terms of level of dyadic adjustment and probability of couple persistence. In predicting adjustment, willingness to sacrifice accounted for significant variance beyond commitment, partially mediating the link between commitment and adjustment; such mediation was not significant for persistence.
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Interpersonal forgiving was conceptualized in the context of a 2-factor motivational system that governs people's responses to interpersonal offenses. Four studies were conducted to examine the extent to which forgiving could be predicted with relationship-level variables such as satisfaction, commitment, and closeness; offense-level variables such as apology and impact of the offense; and social-cognitive variables such as offender-focused empathy and rumination about the offense. Also described is the development of the transgression-related interpersonal motivations inventory--a self-report measure designed to assess the 2-component motivational system (Avoidance and Revenge) posited to underlie forgiving. The measure demonstrated a variety of desirable psychometric properties, commending its use for future research. As predicted, empathy, apology, rumination, and several indexes of relationship closeness were associated with self-reported forgiving.
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Interpersonal offenses frequently mar relationships. Theorists have argued that the responses victims adopt toward their offenders have ramifications not only for their cognition, but also for their emotion, physiology, and health. This study examined the immediate emotional and physiological effects that occurred when participants (35 females, 36 males) rehearsed hurtful memories and nursed grudges (i.e., were unforgiving) compared with when they cultivated empathic perspective taking and imagined granting forgiveness (i.e., were forgiving) toward real-life offenders. Unforgiving thoughts prompted more aversive emotion, and significantly higher corrugator (brow) electromyogram (EMG), skin conductance, heart rate, and blood pressure changes from baseline. The EMG, skin conductance, and heart rate effects persisted after imagery into the recovery periods. Forgiving thoughts prompted greater perceived control and comparatively lower physiological stress responses. The results dovetail with the psychophysiology literature and suggest possible mechanisms through which chronic unforgiving responses may erode health whereas forgiving responses may enhance it.
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Three studies examined the links between attachment insecurity and the use and effectiveness of inducing guilt to produce change in romantic partners (negative-indirect partner regulation strategies). Individuals higher in attachment anxiety engaged in more negative-indirect partner regulation strategies (Studies 1-3), but the effectiveness of negative-indirect strategies depended on targeted partners' attachment avoidance. Targets higher in attachment avoidance reported regulation agents were less successful (Study 1) and reported less motivation to change across time (Study 2) when agents used more negative-indirect regulation strategies. Negative-indirect strategies during couples' conflict discussions were also associated with lower problem resolution when targets were higher in avoidance (Study 3). These results provide the first demonstration that target characteristics moderate the effectiveness of negative-indirect regulation strategies.
Chapter
This chapter highlights the contextual nature of intimate relationships. The first two sections review evidence that the implications of four key processes for relationship functioning—behavior, cognition, emotion, and hormones—depend on the context in which the relationship is situated; whereas certain processes are associated with less desirable outcomes on average, all appear to offer interpersonal benefits in certain situations. The third section highlights the importance of these contextual effects for relationship science by reviewing evidence that even the three personal qualities most consistently associated with less desirable interpersonal outcomes on average—attachment insecurity, low self-esteem, and neuroticism—are just as contextual; although they are consistently associated with undesirable outcomes on average, (a) they do not always lead to the processes that are typically harmful and, even when they do, (b) those processes can be beneficial in some contexts. The fourth section organizes the contextual factors into four classes—qualities of the individual, qualities of the partner, qualities of the relationship, and qualities of the environment. Finally, the fifth section challenges researchers to take a more contextual approach to the study of relationships, including focusing on within-person tendencies to properly calibrate psychological processes to different situations as they fluctuate over time.
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How does forgiveness predict the likelihood of reoffending? One survey study, one experiment, one 4-year longitudinal study, and one 2-week diary study examined the implications of forgiveness for reoffending in relationships. In all four studies, agreeableness interacted with partner forgiveness to predict subsequent offending; partner forgiveness was negatively associated with subsequent offending among more agreeable people but positively associated with subsequent offending among less agreeable people. Furthermore, Study 4 demonstrated a unique mechanism of each simple effect; relatively agreeable people engaged in fewer transgressions against more forgiving partners because they felt obligated to refrain from transgressing against such partners whereas relatively disagreeable people engaged in more transgressions against more forgiving partners because they perceived those partners were less easily angered. These studies indicate that completely understanding the intrapersonal and interpersonal consequences of forgiveness requires recognizing the dyadic nature of forgiveness and attending to qualities of the offender.
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What constitutes effective communication during conflict? Answering this question requires (a) clarifying whether communication expresses opposition versus cooperation and is direct versus indirect, (b) assessing the mechanisms through which communication effects relationships, and (c) identifying the contextual factors that determine the impact of communication. Recent research incorporating these components illustrates that direct opposition is beneficial when serious problems need to be addressed and partners are able to change, but can be harmful when partners are not confident or secure enough to be responsive. In contrast, cooperative communication involving affection and validation can be harmful when serious problems need to changed, but may be beneficial when problems are minor, cannot be changed, or involve partners whose defensiveness curtails problem solving.
Conference Paper
Life events and problem-solving behavior were examined relative to longitudinal change in depressive symptoms and marital adjust ment over 18 months in 60 newlywed couples. Spouses' problem-solving behavior moderated, but did not mediate, the relationship between life events and adjustment. Some behaviors contributed iu,spouses being more resilient to life events, and some behaviors made spouses more vulnerable, In particular, wives' anger facilitated their adjustment to major and interpersonal events such that their depressive symptoms declined and their marital satisfaction increased. Husbands' humor contributed to marital instability when spouses reported more major events. The results further specify the vulnerability-stress-adaptation model of marriage and expand on the role of behavior in marriage.
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In 2 diary studies, 77 undergraduates and 70 community members recorded their social interactions and lies for a week. Because lying violates the openness and authenticity that people value in their close relationships, we predicted (and found) that participants would tell fewer lies per social interaction to the people to whom they felt closer and would feel more uncomfortable when they did lie to those people. Because altruistic lies can communicate caring, we also predicted (and found) that relatively more of the lies told to best friends and friends would be altruistic than self-serving, whereas the reverse would be true of lies told to acquaintances and strangers. Also consistent with predictions, lies told to closer partners were more often discovered.
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In this meta‐analysis, 9 published studies (N = 330) that investigated the efficacy of forgiveness interventions within counseling were examined. After a review of theories of forgiveness, it was discovered that the studies could logically be grouped into 3 categories: decision‐based, process‐based group, and process‐based individual interventions. When compared with control groups, for measures of forgiveness and other emotional health measures, the decision‐based interventions showed no effect, the process‐based group interventions showed significant effects, and the process‐based individual interventions showed large effects. Consequently, effectiveness has been shown for use of forgiveness in clinical and other settings.
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In the current work, we examined the impact of the American Medical Association's recent classification of obesity as a disease on weight-management processes. Across three experimental studies, we highlighted the potential hidden costs associated with labeling obesity as a disease, showing that this message, presented in an actual New York Times article, undermined beneficial weight-loss self-regulatory processes. A disease-based, relative to an information-based, weight-management message weakened the importance placed on health-focused dieting and reduced concerns about weight among obese individuals-the very people whom such public-health messages are targeting. Further, the decreased concern about weight predicted higher-calorie food choices. In addition, the disease message, relative to a message that obesity is not a disease, lowered body-image dissatisfaction, but this too predicted higher-calorie food choices. Thus, although defining obesity as a disease may be beneficial for body image, results from the current work emphasize the negative implications of this message for self-regulation.
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Despite valuable lessons that may be learned about forgiveness from studying instances when people do not forgive, few investigations have directly targeted unforgiven offenses. the present study extends the literature on forgiveness by analyzing responses to open-ended questions in which 185 participants discussed interpersonal offenses they had not forgiven, explained why they did not forgive, and identified advantages and disadvantages of not forgiving. unforgiven episodes varied substantially in type and severity, suggesting that people differ in their forgiveness thresholds. additionally, analysis of participants' explanations for not forgiving highlighted the possibility that beliefs about forgiveness may sometimes impede forgiveness. Finally, most participants reported both costs and benefits associated with not forgiving. implications for conceptualizing forgiveness and implementing forgiveness interventions are discussed.
Article
Relying on uncertainty reduction theory, this study examines the effect of communication strategies on assessments of relational repair and intimacy. Approximately one hundred heterosexual, romantically involved couples nominated unfaithfulness, third party competition, and geographic distance as events most negatively affecting their relationships. These couples also reported that they most often engaged in interactive communication behavior (especially relationship talk) to repair their relationships. In addition, men's passive strategy use and women's active strategy use were associated with self‐reported and partner‐attributed beliefs that the relationship was repaired. Perceptions of relational repair were, in turn, tied to the degree of self‐reported intimacy.
Article
Forgiveness, when thought of as an unsolicited gift, may increase the perceived debt of the transgressor to the victim whereas retribution should reduce it. Male undergraduates participated in a study designed to test this equity interpretation of forgiveness and retribution. Participants were induced to break a piece of electronic equipment during an ostensible memory study; the reaction of the experimenter served as the experimental manipulation. Participants experienced one of forgiveness, retribution, both retribution and forgiveness, or neither, and were then asked to comply with a request from the experimenter as an indirect measure of perceived inequity. Consistent with an equity analysis, a planned contrast analysis indicated that forgiveness alone yielded the most compliance and retribution yielded the least compliance.
Article
To examine potential causal relations between forgiveness and marital quality a sample of married couples (N = 91) provided data regarding forgiveness and marital quality on two occasions separated by a 12-month interval. Structural equation modeling was used to examine direction of effects. For women, paths emerged from forgiveness to marital quality and vice versa. For men, the direction of effect was from marital quality to forgiveness. The concurrent association between the two constructs mediated the longitudinal relationship between them for wives but not for husbands. These results are discussed in relation to an emerging body of theory and research on the role of forgiveness in marriage.
Article
Beginning with the general ideas of testing hypotheses developed by Neyman and Pearson and using certain recent results of S. Kolodziejczyk, the problem of matched groups is discussed and a numerical illustration given. It is shown that the problem of matched groups may be generalized so that both a more detailed analysis of the experimental data and a greater accuracy of results is obtained. In treating this problem the idea of "region of significance" is introduced to educational and psychological investigations. The methods proposed, however, are quite general and not limited to problems in these fields. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
People have a fundamental need to belong that, when satisfied, is linked to a variety of indicators of well-being. The current article discusses what happens when social relationships go awry, namely through social exclusion. It seeks to resolve discrepancies in the literature by proposing that responses to social exclusion depend primarily on the prospect of social acceptance. When people feel socially excluded, they want to regain acceptance and thus may respond in ways that can help them do so. When the possibility of acceptance is not forthcoming, however, socially excluded people become selfish and antisocial. Evidence for this pattern was found at behavioral, cognitive, and biological levels. The motivation to gain acceptance may drive people to engage in negative health behaviors, such as smoking. Thus, excluded people demonstrate sensitivity to possible social acceptance, but they can exude an air of selfishness and hostility when there is no possibility of satisfying their need to belong.
Article
While the topic of forgiveness has only recently started to receive empirical attention, little research has been conducted to examine the notion that forgiveness predicts pro-relationship responses, motivated by a willingness to set aside personal well-being to enhance the well-being of the partner or relationship. The purpose of the present research was to examine whether forgiveness predicts pro-relationship responses, and whether it does so above and beyond commitment to the offender. Consistent with hypotheses, three studies revealed that forgiveness is significantly associated with (a) willingness to accommodate (i.e. to respond constructively rather than destructively when the partner has engaged in a potentially destructive act), (b) willingness to sacrifice, and (c) level of intended cooperation. Moreover, these associations were independent of commitment to the offender, providing initial evidence for the unique role of forgiveness in understanding pro-relationship motivation and behaviour. Finally, the results of Study 3 suggested that forgiveness restores, rather than increases, levels of pro-relationship motivation, compared to baseline levels of pro-relationship motivation. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Two studies examined whether forgiveness in married couples predicted partner reports of psychological aggression and constructive communication. Study 1 found that forgiveness of hypothetical acts of psychological aggression predicted partner reports of psychological aggression. Study 2 examined actual transgressions and found two underlying dimensions of forgiveness (positive and negative). The negative dimension predicted partner reports of psychological aggression, and, for husbands, the positive dimension predicted partner reports of constructive communication. All findings were independent of both spouses’ marital satisfaction. The implications for understanding marital interaction and future research on forgiveness are discussed.
Article
The field of positive psychology rests on the assumption that certain psychological traits and processes are inherently beneficial for well-being. We review evidence that challenges this assumption. First, we review data from 4 independent longitudinal studies of marriage revealing that 4 ostensibly positive processes-forgiveness, optimistic expectations, positive thoughts, and kindness-can either benefit or harm well-being depending on the context in which they operate. Although all 4 processes predicted better relationship well-being among spouses in healthy marriages, they predicted worse relationship well-being in more troubled marriages. Then, we review evidence from other research that reveals that whether ostensibly positive psychological traits and processes benefit or harm well-being depends on the context of various noninterpersonal domains as well. Finally, we conclude by arguing that any movement to promote well-being may be most successful to the extent that it (a) examines the conditions under which the same traits and processes may promote versus threaten well-being, (b) examines both healthy and unhealthy people, (c) examines well-being over substantial periods of time, and (d) avoids labeling psychological traits and processes as positive or negative.
Article
Despite a burgeoning literature that documents numerous positive implications of forgiveness, scholars know very little about the potential negative implications of forgiveness. In particular, the tendency to express forgiveness may lead offenders to feel free to offend again by removing unwanted consequences for their behavior (e.g., anger, criticism, rejection, loneliness) that would otherwise discourage reoffending. Consistent with this possibility, the current longitudinal study of newlywed couples revealed a positive association between spouses' reports of their tendencies to express forgiveness to their partners and those partners' reports of psychological and physical aggression. Specifically, although spouses who reported being relatively more forgiving experienced psychological and physical aggression that remained stable over the first 4 years of marriage, spouses who reported being relatively less forgiving experienced declines in both forms of aggression over time. These findings join just a few others in demonstrating that forgiveness is not a panacea.
Article
Despite a growing literature on the positive implications of forgiveness and recent efforts to promote forgiveness in marriage, there is reason to believe forgiveness could have yet-unknown negative implications. In particular, forgiveness may increase the likelihood that offenders will offend again by removing unwanted outcomes for those offenders (e.g., criticism, guilt, loneliness) that would otherwise discourage them from reoffending. Consistent with this possibility, the current 7-day-diary study revealed that newlywed spouses were more likely to report that their partners had engaged in a negative behavior on days after they had forgiven those partners for a negative behavior than on days after they had not forgiven those partners for a negative behavior. Interpersonal theories and interventions designed to treat and prevent relationship distress may benefit by acknowledging this potential cost of forgiveness.
Article
Married couples (N = 172) were observed as newlyweds and observed again 1 year later while engaging in 2 problem-solving and 2 personal support discussions. Microanalytic coding of these conversations was used to examine associations between problem-solving and social support behaviors for 1 year and their relative contributions to 10-year trajectories of self-reported relationship satisfaction and dissolution. Results demonstrated that initially lower levels of positive support behaviors and higher levels of negative support behaviors predicted 1-year increases in negative emotion displayed during problem-solving conversations. Emotions coded from the initial problem-solving conversations did not predict 1-year changes in social support behaviors. Controlling for emotions displayed during problem-solving interactions eliminated or reduced associations between initial social support behaviors and (a) later levels of satisfaction and (b) relationship dissolution. These findings corroborate models that prioritize empathy, validation, and caring as key elements in the development of intimacy (e.g., Reis & Shaver, 1988) and suggest that deficits in these domains foreshadow deterioration in problem solving and conflict management. Implications for integrating support and problem solving in models of relationship change are outlined, as are implications for incorporating social support in education programs for developing relationships.
Article
Three studies involving 328 married couples were conducted to validate the Marital Offence-Specific Forgiveness Scale, a new measure assessing offence-specific forgiveness for marital transgressions. The studies examined the dimensionality; internal consistency; and discriminant, concurrent, and predictive validity of the new measure. The final scale comprised 2 distinct correlated dimensions, 1 positive (Benevolence) and 1 negative (Resentment-Avoidance), both of which had adequate internal consistency. The 2 dimensions discriminated marital forgiveness from affective empathy, rumination, attributions, and marital quality. Convergent validity of the new scale was indicated by significant relationships between its underlying dimensions and a host of predicted sociocognitive, relationship, trait, and well-being correlates of forgiveness. Providing evidence for predictive validity, forgiveness dimensions accounted for variability in relationship variables over a 6-month period.
Article
This study tested the success of communication strategies used by relationship partners (N = 61 romantic couples) who were videotaped while trying to produce desired changes in each other. Strategies varying in valence (positive vs. negative) and directness (direct vs. indirect) were differentially associated with postdiscussion perceptions of success as well as ratings of demonstrated change in targeted features gathered at 3-month intervals during the following year. Direct strategies (positive and negative) were initially perceived as relatively unsuccessful but predicted increased change over the next 12 months as reported by the targeted partners and (for positive-direct strategies) as perceived by female agents. Positive-indirect strategies, in contrast, were associated with higher concurrent perceived success but did not predict later change. Increases in problem severity also forecasted lower relationship quality over time. These findings indicate that one mechanism through which regulation strategies impact relationship outcomes is the extent to which engaged strategies are successful at producing desired change.
Article
The prevailing behavioral account of marriage must be expanded to include covert processes. This article therefore examines the attributions or explanations that spouses make for marital events. A review indicates that dissatisfied spouses, compared with satisfied spouses, make attributions for the partner's behavior that cast it in a negative light. Experimental, clinical outcome, and longitudinal data suggest further that attributions may influence marital satisfaction. Rival hypotheses for these findings are examined. Because continued empirical development in this domain depends on conceptual progress, a framework is presented that integrates attributions, behavior, and marital satisfaction. This framework points to several topics that require systematic study, and specific hypotheses are offered for research on these topics. It is concluded that the promising start made toward understanding marital attributions holds considerable potential for enriching behavioral conceptions of marriage.
Article
Theories of how initially satisfied marriages deteriorate or remain stable over time have been limited by a failure to distinguish between key facets of change. The present study defines the trajectory of marital satisfaction in terms of 2 separate parameters--(a) the initial level of satisfaction and (b) the rate of change in satisfaction over time--and seeks to estimate unique effects on each of these parameters with variables derived from intrapersonal and interpersonal models of marriage. Sixty newlywed couples completed measures of neuroticism, were observed during a marital interaction and provided reports of marital satisfaction every 6 months for 4 years. Neuroticism was associated with initial levels of marital satisfaction but had no additional effects on rates of change. Behavior during marital interaction predicted rates of change in marital satisfaction but was not associated with initial levels.
Article
The purpose of this review is to provide a balanced examination of the published research involving the observation of couples, with special attention toward the use of observation for clinical assessment. All published articles that (a) used an observational coding system and (b) relate to the validity of the coding system are summarized in a table. The psychometric properties of observational systems and the use of observation in clinical practice are discussed. Although advances have been made in understanding couple conflict through the use of observation, the review concludes with an appeal to the field to develop constructs in a psychometrically and theoretically sound manner.
Article
Many definitions of forgiveness currently exist in the literature. The current research adds to this discussion by utilizing a prototype approach to examine lay conceptions of forgiveness. A prototype approach involves categorizing objects or events in terms of their similarity to a good example, whereas a classical approach requires that there are essential elements that must be present. In Study 1, participants listed the features of forgiveness. Study 2 obtained centrality ratings for these features. In Studies 3 and 4, central features were found to be more salient in memory than peripheral features. Study 5 showed that feature centrality influenced participants' ratings of victims involved in hypothetical transgressions. Thus, the two criteria for demonstrating prototype structure (that participants find it meaningful to judge features in terms of their centrality and that centrality affects cognition) were met.