Article

Growing desire or growing apart? Consequences of personal self-expansion for romantic passion

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Romantic passion represents one of the most fragile and elusive elements of relationship quality but one that is increasingly valued and tied to relationship and individual well-being. We provide the first examination of whether experiencing personal self-expansion-positive self-change and personal growth without a romantic partner-is a critical predictor of passion. Previous research has almost exclusively examined the consequences of couples' sharing novel experiences (i.e., relational self-expansion) on romantic relationships. Instead, the consequences of personal self-expansion for romantic relationships remain largely unexamined even though most positive self-growth may occur without a romantic partner (e.g., at work). We investigated the consequences of personal self-expansion for passion in three studies including two 21-day experience sampling studies of community couples and a study in a context likely to elicit heightened personal self-expansion: during job relocation. Within-person increases in daily personal self-expansion were associated with greater passion through greater positive emotions (Studies 1 and 2). In contrast, high between-person levels of personal self-expansion were associated with lower passion through lower levels of intimacy, suggesting that individuals may drift apart from their partners with more chronic personal self-expansion (Studies 1, 2, and 3). That is, consistently growing outside of the relationship in ways that are not shared with a romantic partner may reduce feelings of closeness and connection, and ultimately passion. Results also suggest that chronic personal self-expansion may be a double-edged sword for individual well-being, simultaneously associated with lower passion, but greater fulfillment of competence needs. Results controlled for relational self-expansion and time together. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... We examined whether and for whom potential tradeoffs exist between self-expansion and self-concept clarity. Both self-expansion and self-concept clarity are reliably and independently associated with psychological well-being (e.g., Campbell, 1990;Mattingly & Lewandowski, 2013; but see Carswell et al., 2021, for an exception). To our knowledge, no studies have examined whether there is a drop of self-concept clarity following self-expansion. ...
... If people with lower self-concept clarity resist selfexpanding, is this adaptive? Self-expansion typically enhances well-being (e.g., Muise et al., 2019), but not always (Carswell et al., 2021). If someone is already experiencing lower self-concept clarity, then adding more content to the self-concept could risk further confusion, just as adding more books to an already cluttered office can increase the chaos. ...
Article
Full-text available
Most people are motivated to self-expand, collecting new attributes and experiences in a process that boosts well-being, but people with low self-concept clarity resist it. Perhaps, then, there is a tradeoff between self-expansion and self-concept clarity. Across a 2-week daily dairy, we found no evidence for such a tradeoff—self-expanding was not associated with lower self-concept clarity, either that day, the next day, or the period as a whole. In fact, self-expansion was associated with higher self-concept clarity, but especially for people with lower initial self-concept clarity. Although they were less likely to self-expand on a daily basis, when they did self-expand, they reported higher self-concept clarity and, in turn, greater satisfaction with life. These findings suggest that self-expansion in daily life does not come at the cost of a coherent self-concept and that despite their reluctance, people with lower self-concept clarity may experience associated benefits from self-expanding.
... A dyadic daily diary study among community couples showed that within-person increases in daily personal self-expansion (without the partner) were associated with greater sexual passion. However, experiencing chronically high levels of personal self-expansion in ways that were not shared with a romantic partner was associated with poorer intimacy, and in turn, less sexual passion (Carswell et al., 2021). These results support the idea that both the feelings of individuality and togetherness are important for sexual well-being (Schnarch, 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
Whereas greater levels of intimacy have been shown to promote couples’ sexual well-being, recent theories suggest that satisfying sex is maintained via the capacity to encourage the partner’s individuality, while remaining intimately connected. Responses to capitalization attempts (i.e., the disclosure of a positive personal event) provide an opportunity to strengthen both the couple’s intimacy and each partner’s autonomy. Although responses to capitalization attempts are linked to couples’ greater relationship adjustment, very little is known about their relation to couples’ sexual well-being. The aim of this study was to examine the associations between self-reported, perceived, and observed responses to capitalization attempts and sexual satisfaction, sexual distress, and sexual function in 151 cohabiting couples who participated in a filmed discussion in the laboratory. They also completed self-report questionnaires pertaining to their responsiveness and to that of the partner during the discussion, as well as their sexual well-being. Results indicated that one’s higher levels of self-reported and partner-perceived active–constructive responses (enthusiasm/elaboration) during the discussion were associated with one’s own greater sexual satisfaction. Higher levels of perceived passive–constructive responses (quiet but interested) from one’s partner were associated with one’s own lower sexual satisfaction, and one’s higher levels of self-reported and perceived passive–destructive responses (lack of interest/self-focus) were associated with one’s own greater sexual distress. Finally, higher levels of observed active–destructive responses (undermines/denies the positive nature of the event) were associated with one’s own lower sexual function, while in women, they were associated with their lower sexual satisfaction. Findings contribute to a growing body of literature underscoring the importance of intimacy for sexual well-being in long-term relationships.
... Measures and procedure. The current data are part of a larger study on consequences of relocating with a romantic partner (see Carswell et al., 2021). Participants were eligible to participate if they were romantically involved, had moved with their partner to a different city or country in the past year primarily for their partner (e.g., to accommodate their studies or job opportunities elsewhere), and they already lived with their partner before the move. ...
Article
Full-text available
Romantic partners regularly sacrifice their own self-interest when partners' needs and preferences diverge. The present work examines the role of perceived partner responsiveness (PPR)-impressions that one's partner is understanding, caring, and validating-in positively shaping people's appraisals of their relational sacrifices. In Study 1, a preregistered experiment of romantically involved individuals (N = 548), we manipulated PPR (high, low, or control) in a hypothetical sacrifice scenario. In Study 2, we tracked romantic couples' (N = 126) in-lab conversations about a sacrifice (Study 2a), and their sacrifices in daily life (Study 2b). In Study 3, romantic couples (N = 111) engaged in lab conversations about a sacrifice that entailed making a change that one partner desired from the other, and reported on their progress 2 weeks later. In Study 4, we surveyed romantically involved individuals (N = 230) who recently made a life-changing sacrifice by relocating to a new city or country to support their partner's career. Across studies, results showed that higher PPR fostered more positive sacrifice appraisals (i.e., lower costs and viewing the act as less of a sacrifice, greater satisfaction, greater personal and relational benefits, lower regret) and greater sacrifice behavior (Study 3)-in part due to greater closeness with and lower negative affect toward the partner. Additionally, Study 4 suggested that PPR partly originated from the partner's efforts to fulfill fundamental psychological needs (i.e., autonomy, competence, relatedness). Thus, PPR can play a critical role in lightening the load of daily and even life-changing sacrifices. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic drastically affected how people interact socially. Stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, and closures of non-essential businesses caused disruptions to the development of intimate relationships. Individuals develop expectations about how relationships should progress based on romantic scripts (i.e., relationship guidelines based on social norms), and typically report feeling more satisfied when their relationships follow these scripts. The current study was designed to assess how individuals involved in, or pursuing, intimate relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic adapted to these significant shifts to the progression of intimate relationships. Data were collected from user-generated posts on a popular online forum site. Analysis of spontaneous online communications during the first calendar year of the pandemic (2020) revealed notable impacts on the romantic scripts of individuals in all relationship stages (i.e., single, dating, new relationship, non-cohabiting, cohabiting, long distance, and relationship dissolution). Content analysis yielded themes related to the dominant discourse, as well as similarities across and differences between relationship stages. Overall, people described notable changes to their intimate relationship scripts that they attributed to the pandemic and restrictions. The results contribute to the current understanding of the pandemic’s impact on our closest, intimate relationships and provide insights for use in policy and research around social change.
Article
In this paper we review the self-expansion model in the context of close relationships, focusing primarily on work in the last 20 years, considering throughout variation in our samples across cultures and other demographics—both in existing studies and in potential implications for future research. The self-expansion model has two key principles. The first half of the paper focuses on the motivational principle: The model theorizes that people have a fundamental desire to expand the self—that is, to increase their self-efficacy, perspectives, competence, and resources, and this often occurs through relationships in general. The second half of the paper focuses on the inclusion-of-other-in-the-self principle, in that a major means of self-expansion is through close relationships, when one’s partner’s identities, perspectives, skills, and resources become to some extent “included in the self” as also one’s own. For each principle we briefly describe its foundational research support and then explore the extensive, significant work of the last 20 years substantially expanding and deepening the implications of the model. The majority (although with some interesting exceptions) of studies have fallen short of testing the universal breadth of the model. As we review the research, we consider where the studies were conducted and with what kinds of populations. Where there are data from diverse populations, the overall pattern of results are generally similar. However, there were individual differences found within the populations studied, such as in attachment style, that affected the operation of both principles. Since there are well known differences in the distribution of such individual differences across populations of many types, it is quite likely that while the basic patterns may not differ, future research will show different degrees of operation in different populations.
Article
Whether and how self-concept clarity (SCC) affects self-control has not been sufficiently explored in empirical research. We proposed that low SCC inhibits self-control through a lower sense of global self-continuity. The results of five studies provided converging support for our mediation model ( N = 898). Compared with participants with high SCC, participants with low SCC scored lower on self-control scales (Studies 1 and 2), spent less time practicing to improve their performance on a tedious task (Study 3), and were less likely to stay focused on an ongoing task (Study 4) or to adhere to the exercise plan to stay healthy (Study 5). Global self-continuity mediated the effects of low SCC on self-control (Studies 1–5) even after emotional affect (Study 5) and self-esteem (Studies 4 and 5) were controlled for. These findings highlight the importance of fostering SCC for coping with self-control failures.
Article
Full-text available
Close relationships have the potential to fundamentally alter relationship partners’ self-concepts and, consequently, can impact individuals’ mental health. One type of relationship-induced self-concept change is self-expansion, which describes the cognitive reorganization of the self that can occur when individuals include aspects of their partner into the self, or when they share novel and challenging activities together. In the current research, we hypothesized that greater self-expansion would be associated with fewer depression symptoms. In support of this hypothesis, across four studies using cross-sectional, dyadic, daily diary, and longitudinal methodologies, we found that self-expansion was negatively associated with depression symptoms. This association was robust and remained a significant predictor of depression symptoms when controlling for demographic factors (gender, age, relationship length; Studies 1–4) and known risk factors of depression (dysfunctional attitudes, major life stressors, self-concept clarity; Study 2). Moreover, individuals’ self-expansion negatively predicted depression symptoms at the daily level (Study 3) and longitudinally over 9 months (Study 4). These results are the first to show the link between self-expansion and depression symptoms, suggesting that self-expansion may have robust benefits for individuals, beyond improving relationship dynamics.
Article
Although engaging in exciting, shared activities with a partner is one strategy for warding off relational boredom , people might be less likely to pursue these activities when they are bored, which could have implications for the maintenance of passion in romantic relationships. In the current study, we assessed couple members' (N = 122 couples) daily experiences of relational boredom, the occurrence and quality of exciting , shared activities, and passion in a 21-day daily diary study and followed up with participants 3 months later. Overall, there was evidence that relational boredom obstructed the occurrence and quality of exciting, shared activities. In turn, less enjoyable shared activities were associated with lower daily passion, and engaging in fewer exciting, shared activities accounted for declines in passion over time. Implications of the findings for passion decay are discussed. K E Y W O R D S relational boredom, relationship maintenance, self-expansion, shared leisure Statement of Relevance: The benefits of exciting, shared activities for promoting passion in intimate relationships are well-documented, however, less is known about what challenges couples face when engaging in such activities in their daily lives. In the current study, we demonstrate that relational boredom impeded exciting, shared activities in couples' daily lives, which was associated with a lower passion that day, as well as declines in passion over time.
Article
Voice behavior has been extensively explored, but its effect on leaders, particularly at the team level, has been overlooked. Enlightened by self-expansion theory and followership research, we theorize that employee voice can boost leaders’ managerial self-efficacy (team level) via leader self-expansion. We tested our hypotheses using a time-lagged survey with 67 teams (298 employees and 67 supervisors). Results from multilevel structural equation modeling confirmed our hypotheses, showing employee voice has a positive relationship with leaders’ self-expansion, which in turn affects leaders’ managerial self-efficacy at the team level. The study offers novel insights into employee voice consequences and followership research.
Article
Despite romantic relationships being characterized by high positives (e.g., enjoyable activities, positive feelings) early in commitment, many couples experience a loss of positives over time. However, interventions are typically not as effective at enhancing positives as they are at reducing negatives (e.g., hostile conflict). Thus, it is important to understand why positives decrease and how to use interventions to enhance positives optimally. In this article, we present how the field has evolved to (a) heighten focus on positives independent of negatives, (b) identify trajectories of positives over time, and (c) clarify major factors which predict loss of positives. From a Cognitive-Behavioral Couple Therapy perspective, we offer therapeutic strategies that may hold promise for enhancing positives in relationships.
Article
Full-text available
People often pursue self-change, and having a romantic partner who supports these changes increases relationship satisfaction. However, most existing research focuses only on the experience of the person who is changing. What predicts whether people support their partner’s change? People with low self-concept clarity resist self-change, so we hypothesized that they would be unsupportive of their partner’s changes. People with low self-concept clarity did not support their partner’s change (Study 1a), because they thought they would have to change, too (Study 1b). Low self-concept clarity predicted failing to support a partner’s change, but not vice versa (Studies 2 and 3), and only for larger changes (Study 3). Not supporting a partner’s change predicted decreases in relationship quality for both members of the couple (Studies 2 and 3). This research underscores the role of partners in self-change, suggesting that failing to support a partner’s change may stem from self- concept confusion.
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the relationships between passion for work and work–family conflicts (WFC). Using a multidimensional perspective of WFC, 2 studies (Study 1 = 91 civil servants; Study 2 = 679 teachers) tested a model in which passion for work predicted psychological distress through 4 types of WFC. In Study 1, results revealed that harmonious and obsessive passion for work negatively and positively predicted psychological distress, respectively, and that these relationships were mediated by strain-based work-to-family conflict (WIF). In Study 2, another potential mediator was added to our model, namely, work satisfaction. Results showed that harmonious passion negatively predicted psychological distress through enhanced work satisfaction and reduced strain-based WIF. Obsessive passion for work positively predicted psychological distress through enhanced strain-based WIF and strain-based family-to-work (FIW). Obsessive passion was positively related to all four types of WFC, whereas harmonious passion seemed to protect workers from experiencing WFC. Important contributions made to the passion and work–family conflict literatures are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Background Previous studies have shown that self-expansion (e.g., increasing positive self-content via engaging in novel, rewarding activities) is associated with smoking cessation and attenuated cigarette-cue reactivity. Purpose This study examined whether self-expansion is associated with better adherence, weight loss, and physical activity (PA) outcomes within a weight loss intervention. Methods Participants from Shape Up Rhode Island 2012, a Web-based community wellness initiative, took part in a randomized controlled trial that involved a 12-week behavioral weight loss intervention [1]. At baseline and post-intervention, objective weights and self-reported self-expansion and PA were obtained from 239 participants. Treatment adherence was assessed objectively. Results Self-expansion during treatment was significantly associated with percent weight loss including clinically significant weight loss (i.e., 5 %), minutes of PA, and treatment adherence. These results held after controlling for relevant covariates. Conclusions This is the first study to show that self-expansion is associated with better behavioral weight loss outcomes including weight loss, adherence, and PA. These results suggest that self-expansion is a promising novel target for future research which could inform health interventions.
Article
Full-text available
The present study investigated whether satisfaction and frustration of the psychological needs for autonomy, relatedness, and competence, as identified within Basic Psychological Need Theory (BPNT; Deci and Ryan, Psychol Inquiry 11:227-268, 2000; Ryan and Deci, Psychol Inquiry 11:319-338, 2000), contributes to participants' well-being and ill-being, regardless of their cultural background and interpersonal differences in need strength, as indexed by either need valuation (i.e., the stated importance of the need to the person) or need desire (i.e., the desire to get a need met). In Study 1, involving late adolescents from Belgium and China (total N = 685; Mean age = 17 years), autonomy and competence satisfaction had unique associations with well-being and individual differences in need valuation did not moderate these associations. Study 2 involved participants from four culturally diverse nations (Belgium, China, USA, and Peru; total N = 1,051; Mean age = 20 years). Results provided evidence for the measurement equivalence of an adapted scale tapping into both need satisfaction and need frustration. Satisfaction of each of the three needs was found to contribute uniquely to the prediction of well-being, whereas frustration of each of the three needs contributed uniquely to the prediction of ill-being. Consistent with Study 1, the effects of need satisfaction and need frustration were found to be equivalent across the four countries and were not moderated by individual differences in the desire for need satisfaction. These findings underscore BPNT's universality claim, which states that the satisfaction of basic needs for autonomy, relatedness, and competence represent essential nutrients for optimal functioning across cultures and across individual differences in need strength.
Article
Full-text available
This article distills insights from historical, sociological, and psychological perspectives on marriage to develop the suffocation model of marriage in America. According to this model, contemporary Americans are asking their marriage to help them fulfill different sets of goals than in the past. Whereas they ask their marriage to help them fulfill their physiological and safety needs much less than in the past, they ask it to help them fulfill their esteem and self-actualization needs much more than in the past. Asking the marriage to help them fulfill the latter, higher level needs typically requires sufficient investment of time and psychological resources to ensure that the two spouses develop a deep bond and profound insight into each other's essential qualities. Although some spouses are investing sufficient resources-and reaping the marital and psychological benefits of doing so-most are not. Indeed, they are, on average, investing less than in the past. As a result, mean levels of marital quality and personal well-being are declining over time. According to the suffocation model, spouses who are struggling with an imbalance between what they are asking from their marriage and what they are investing in it have several promising options for corrective action: intervening to optimize their available resources, increasing their investment of resources in the marriage, and asking less of the marriage in terms of facilitating the fulfillment of spouses' higher needs. Discussion explores the implications of the suffocation model for understanding dating and courtship, sociodemographic variation, and marriage beyond American's borders.
Article
Full-text available
Previous research indicates that partner responsiveness and self-expansion play key roles in the creation, maintenance, and improvement of close relationships. This experiment examined the hypothesis that active (vs. passive) partner support for an individual’s opportunity for self-expansion would increase relationship satisfaction. In an experimental task manipulated to be either self-expanding or stressful, dating couple members (N = 116; 58 couples) received active or passive support messages, ostensibly from their partners. Among those in longer term (14–60 months), but not in shorter term relationships, relationship satisfaction increased significantly more for those who received active (vs. passive) support for self-expansion. This same pattern was not found when partners’ messages responded to a stressful task or for couples in short-term relationships. This study provides the first experimental evidence for effects on relationship satisfaction of partner support for individual self-expansion. In addition, the findings suggest the potential substantial importance of relationship length for moderating self-expansion processes.
Article
Full-text available
Previous work shows that high self-disclosure interactions between couples can increase feelings of closeness within couples. We investigated whether couple friendships created in the lab through high self-disclosure and closeness-building activities would boost feelings of passionate love. In Study 1, couples randomly assigned to a high (vs. low) closeness induction task, either alone or with another couple, showed significantly greater increases in passionate love when they were highly self-disclosing with other couples. Study 2 showed that the responsiveness of the other couple mediated the effects of self-disclosure on increases in passionate love following high self-disclosure interactions with other couples. The creation of couple friendships may be an additional way to re-ignite feelings of passionate love in romantic relationships.
Article
Full-text available
The self-expansion model posits that individuals are motivated to broaden their sense of self by acquiring new identities, developing new perspectives, enhancing capabilities, and gaining resources. The self-expansion motivation is driven by individuals' desire to increase their potential self-efficacy and ability to accomplish goals. In this article, we discuss two main ways individuals self-expand – by forming relationships and including the other in the self and through engaging in novel activities that are challenging and/or interesting either on one's own or with a relationship partner. We provide an overview of recent research detailing the numerous interpersonal and intrapersonal benefits and implications of self-expansion. Additionally, we differentiate self-expansion from a series of potentially associated constructs.
Article
Full-text available
The self-expansion model suggests that the acquisition of new identities, capabilities, perspectives, and resources primarily occurs in the context of romantic relationships and that self-expanding activities have numerous benefits for relationships. However, self-expansion can theoretically occur outside of a relational context, yet little is known about the benefits of self-expanding activities for individuals. Across six experimental studies, we examined: (1) whether nonrelational novel, exciting, and interesting activities produce self-expansion and (2) whether engaging in nonrelational self-expanding activities results in greater exerted effort. In Studies 1 and 2, individuals who engaged in novel, exciting, and interesting activities experienced greater self-expansion than those who engaged in control activities. In Studies 36, individuals who engaged in high self-expanding activities exerted more effort on cognitive and physical tasks than those who engaged in low self-expanding activities, and this effect was not due to depleted self-regulatory resources, altered mood, or changes in self-esteem (Studies 5 and 6).
Article
Full-text available
The current research tested a model proposed by Baumeister and Bratslavsky (1999) suggesting that passion’s association with intimacy is best understood as being linked with changes in intimacy over time. Within this framework, when intimacy shows relatively large and rapid increases, levels of passion should be high. When intimacy remains unchanged over time, levels of passionate experience should be low. To test this hypothesis, 67 heterosexual couples involved in long-term relationships completed daily measures of intimacy, passion, and sexual satisfaction for 21 consecutive days. Analyses guided by the actor–partner interdependence model (Kenny, Kashy, & Cook, 2006) demonstrated that day-to-day changes in intimacy for both partners predicted relationship passion, sexual frequency, and sexual satisfaction in a manner conforming to Baumeister and Bratslavksy’s model. These results represent the first empirical support for this model of intimacy and passionate experience.
Article
Full-text available
The self-expansion model states that an expanded self-concept is associated with an increased sense of self-efficacy. We conducted four studies (three correlational, one experimental) to test this central tenet of the self-expansion model in a non-relational context. Results indicate that self-concept size (Studies 1 and 2) and subjective sense of self-concept (Study 3) were positively associated with greater self-efficacy. In Study 4, individuals who were randomly assigned to physically expand a representation of their self-concept reported greater self-efficacy at resolving potential problems than those who contracted a self-representation or left it unchanged. Taken together, these four studies provide the first empirical evidence that expanded self-concepts lead to greater self-efficacy.
Article
Full-text available
Across three studies, we demonstrate that pursuing sex for approach goals, such as to enhance intimacy, fuels satisfaction and pursuing sex for avoidance goals, such as to avoid disappointing a partner, detracts from satisfaction. In Study 1, we use hypothetical scenarios to provide experimental support for the associations between sexual goals and sexual and relationship satisfaction. In Study 2, a dyadic daily experience study of dating couples, we demonstrate that daily sexual goals are associated with both partners' daily relationship and sexual satisfaction. In Study 3, a dyadic daily experience study, we replicate the daily associations between sexual goals and satisfaction in a sample of long-term couples, and demonstrate that sexual goals impact partner's relationship and sexual quality 4 months later. In all studies, the associations between sexual goals and enhanced satisfaction as reported by both partners were mediated by sexual desire. Implications for research on sexual motivation and close relationships are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Predictions derived from Sternberg's (1986) Triangular Theory of Love were tested. Two-hundred- and-four adults completed questionnaires assessing several constructs, including each of the three components of the theory: intimacy, passion and commitment. Results indicated mixed support for the Triangular Theory. As expected, self-reported levels of commitment were higher for the respondents in more serious (i.e. married vs unmarried) relationships. The predicted decline over time in passion emerged only for females, and intimacy levels did not generally display the predicted decline for longer relationships. Commitment was the most powerful and consistent predictor of relationship satisfaction, especially for the longest relationships. Other results indicated a need for more psychometrically sound measures of these constructs, and the desirability of using adult, non-student samples for investigations of romantic love.
Article
Full-text available
People highly involved in their work are likely to experience negative repercussions on other life domains such as family and leisure activities. The purpose of the present study was to identify the potential contribution of passion towards work on work/family interference (WFI) and leisure-time physical activity (LTPA). It was hypothesized that obsessive passion towards work would be positively related to WFI and negatively related to LTPA because it leads to invest more time in one's occupation. Conversely, it was expected that harmonious passion towards work would be negatively related to WFI but positively related to LTPA because it prevents one from devoting a large amount of time to work. A questionnaire measuring WFI, LTPA, passion, and the time spent working weekly was administrated to 160 French teachers. In the first model, path analyses revealed that harmonious passion was positively related to LTPA level, but that obsessive passion and work time were unrelated to LTPA. In the second model, path analyses revealed that work time mediated the positive relationship between obsessive passion and WFI, whereas harmonious passion was negatively related to WFI but unrelated to work time. As a whole, the present study contributes to a better understanding of the work-related predictors of WFI and LTPA.
Article
Full-text available
Researchers have begun to test the idea that work and family can benefit, rather than just conflict with one another; yet, theoretical development is lacking. In this paper, we define work–family facilitation — or the positive influence of an individual's engagement in a domain on functioning of another life system. We merge and extend ideas from Positive Organizational Scholarship [Cameron, K. S., Dutton, J. E., & Quinn, R. E. (2003). Foundations of Positive Organizational Scholarship. In K. S. Cameron, J. E. Dutton, & R. E. Quinn, (Eds.), Positive Organizational Scholarship: Foundations of a new discipline. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler], Ecological Systems Theory [Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press] and Conservation of Resources Theory [Hobfoll, S. E. (1989). Conservation of resources: A new attempt at conceptualizing stress. The American Psychologist, 44, 513–524] to develop the Resource–Gain–Development perspective. Using this perspective, we explain why and how facilitation occurs, what contributes to it, and why it relates to domain outcomes. We use this perspective to draw broad constructs representing predictors, moderators, and consequences of facilitation. To illustrate how one might test these theoretical propositions and to provide an agenda for research, we provide specific exemplars of the work-to-family direction. Implications for human resource research and practice are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
In 2 daily experience studies and a laboratory study, the authors test predictions from approach-avoidance motivational theory to understand how dating couples can maintain feelings of relationship satisfaction in their daily lives and over the course of time. Approach goals were associated with increased relationship satisfaction on a daily basis and over time, particularly when both partners were high in approach goals. Avoidance goals were associated with decreases in relationship satisfaction over time, and people were particularly dissatisfied when they were involved with a partner with high avoidance goals. People high in approach goals and their partners were rated as relatively more satisfied and responsive to a partner's needs by outside observers in the lab, whereas people with high avoidance goals and their partners were rated as less satisfied and responsive. Positive emotions mediated the link between approach goals and daily satisfaction in both studies, and responsiveness to the partner's needs was an additional behavioral mechanism in Study 2. Implications of these findings for approach-avoidance motivational theory and for the maintenance of satisfying relationships over time are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Human beings can be proactive and engaged or, alternatively, passive and alienated, largely as a function of the social conditions in which they develop and function. Accordingly, research guided by self-determination theory has focused on the social-contextual conditions that facilitate versus forestall the natural processes of self-motivation and healthy psychological development. Specifically, factors have been examined that enhance versus undermine intrinsic motivation, self-regulation, and well-being. The findings have led to the postulate of three innate psychological needs--competence, autonomy, and relatedness--which when satisfied yield enhanced self-motivation and mental health and when thwarted lead to diminished motivation and well-being. Also considered is the significance of these psychological needs and processes within domains such as health care, education, work, sport, religion, and psychotherapy.
Article
Full-text available
Mammals and birds have evolved three primary, discrete, interrelated emotion-motivation systems in the brain for mating, reproduction, and parenting: lust, attraction, and male-female attachment. Each emotion-motivation system is associated with a specific constellation of neural correlates and a distinct behavioral repertoire. Lust evolved to initiate the mating process with any appropriate partner; attraction evolved to enable individuals to choose among and prefer specific mating partners, thereby conserving their mating time and energy; male-female attachment evolved to enable individuals to cooperate with a reproductive mate until species-specific parental duties have been completed. The evolution of these three emotion-motivation systems contribute to contemporary patterns of marriage, adultery, divorce, remarriage, stalking, homicide and other crimes of passion, and clinical depression due to romantic rejection. This article defines these three emotion-motivation systems. Then it discusses an ongoing project using functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain to investigate the neural circuits associated with one of these emotion-motivation systems, romantic attraction.
Article
Romantic passion typically declines over time, but a downward trajectory is not inevitable. Across 3 studies (1 of which encompassed 2 substudies), we investigated whether creativity helps bolster romantic passion in established relationships. Studies 1A and 1B revealed that people with highly creative personalities report not only greater overall passion but also an attenuation in the tendency for passion to decline as relationship duration increases. Studies 2 and 3 explored positive illusions about the partner's physical attractiveness as a possible mediator of the effect of creativity on passion. Cross-lagged panel analyses in Study 2 indicated that being creative is linked to a tendency to view the partner as especially attractive, even relative to the partner's own self-assessment. Path analyses in Study 3 provided longitudinal evidence consistent with the hypothesis that positive illusions about the partner's attractiveness (participant's assessments, controlling for objective coding of the partner's attractiveness) mediate the link between creativity and changes in passion over time. Study 3 also provided longitudinal evidence of the buffering effect of creativity on passion trajectories over time, an effect that emerged not only for self-reported passion but also for objectively coded passion during a laboratory-based physical intimacy task 9 months later. A meta-analytic summary across studies revealed a significant overall main effect of creativity on passion, as well as a significant moderation effect of creativity on risks of passion decline (e.g., relationship length).
Article
The present research introduces the construct of a decay theory of passion—a lay belief that romantic passion decline is irreversible—and investigates how this construct interacts with existing levels of passion for one’s romantic partner to predict lower relationship commitment and greater pursuit of romantic alternatives. Across three studies employing experimental and nonexperimental procedures—and a set of meta-analytic syntheses including additional studies—results generally supported the hypotheses that, although low passion is linked to lower commitment and greater pursuit of romantic alternatives, such effects are stronger when adherence to decay beliefs is high rather than low. These effects tended to be independent of effects of destiny and growth theories (Knee, 1998), a related set of lay theories in the domain of relationships. Mediated moderation analyses revealed that the moderating effect of decay theories on relationship commitment mediates the moderating effect of decay theories on the link between low passion and the pursuit of romantic alternatives. Discussion addresses the possibility that changing one’s beliefs surrounding the nature of romantic passion may be an important, but previously overlooked, means for preventing one from prematurely abandoning an otherwise satisfying relationship.
Article
A common reason why people in ongoing romantic relationships report engaging in sex with their partner—in addition to pursuing their own pleasure—is to meet their partner’s sexual needs. While meeting a partner’s needs with responsiveness and care is crucial in romantic relationships, it is important, especially in the domain of sexuality, that people do not neglect their own needs when meeting the needs of their partner. In a 21-day daily experience study of both members of 122 romantic couples recruited from the community, we tested whether being responsive to a partner’s sexual needs (i.e., high sexual communal strength) and focusing on a partner’s needs while neglecting one’s own needs (i.e., high unmitigated sexual communion) were associated with both partners’ daily sexual and relationship satisfaction. We also tested attention to positive partner-focused and negative self-focused cues during the sexual experience as novel mechanisms of these effects. The results generally showed that on days when people (or their romantic partner) reported higher sexual communal strength, they reported greater attention to positive partner-focused sexual cues and, in turn, both partners experienced greater daily sexual and relationship satisfaction. In contrast, on days when people reported higher unmitigated sexual communion, they reported greater attention to negative self-focused sexual cues and, in turn, experienced lower relationship and sexual satisfaction, although these effects did not extend to their romantic partner. Implications of the results for promoting higher quality sexual experiences and relationships are discussed.
Article
We investigated whether partners in newly developing romantic relationships adjust their goals when they experience conflict with the goals of their partner, and the consequences of goal conflict and goal adjustment. Fifty-nine newly dating couples (N = 118) reported on their goals at an initial session and again 3 months later. Multilevel models indicated that when people reported higher conflict between a goal and their partner’s goals, they were more likely to stop pursuing as well as to devalue the importance of that particular goal over time. Furthermore, goal devaluing was associated with increases in relationship commitment over time but decreases in women’s relationship satisfaction when their partners devalued conflicting goals. Overall levels of goal conflict were associated with marginal decreases in relationship satisfaction. These results indicate that romantic partners try to adjust their goals to reduce goal conflict even in developing relationships, and that these adjustments have consequences for relationship satisfaction and commitment.
Article
Men's sexual overperception bias-where men tend to perceive greater sexual interest in women's behavior than actually exists-is a well-documented finding in previous research. All of the existing research, however, has tested this effect in the context of initial encounters or for fictitious or unknown targets. No research currently exists on how people perceive their romantic partner's sexual desire in the context of ongoing, intimate relationships. In 3 dyadic studies, we provide evidence that men in established romantic relationships err in the direction of the opposite bias and underperceive their romantic partner's sexual desire. We also demonstrate that this underperception bias is functional (particularly for men) in that it is associated with their partner feeling more satisfied and committed to the relationship. In addition, people are particularly likely to underperceive their partner's desire on days when they are motivated to avoid sexual rejection, and men's underperception bias is, in part, accounted for by men's higher general levels of sexual desire than women. The current studies extend previous findings on sexual perceptual biases and demonstrate the important role of context in men's judgments of a partner's sexual interest. (PsycINFO Database Record
Article
Transactive goal dynamics (TGD) theory conceptualizes 2 or more interdependent people as 1 single self-regulating system. Six tenets describe the nature of goal interdependence, predict its emergence, predict when it will lead to positive goal outcomes during and after the relationship, and predict the consequences for the relationship. Both partners in a TGD system possess and pursue self-oriented, partner-oriented, and system-oriented goals, and all of these goals and pursuits are interdependent. TGD theory states that relationship partners' goals, pursuit, and outcomes affect each other in a dense network of goal interdependence, ultimately becoming so tightly linked that the 2 partners are most accurately conceptualized as components within a single self-regulating system. (PsycINFO Database Record
Article
The concept of passionate love has a long history, yet it was not until the 1940s that social scientists created tools designed to measure this emotion. Over the next 60 years, numerous scales of romantic and passionate love were created and tested. Currently, however, there exists no single compendium of existing scales. This paper attempts to fill in the missing information on existing love scales by providing a list of 33 different measures and indicating where each scale’s reliability and validity information can be found. We close by attempting to explain how scholars’ conceptions of the nature of love have changed over the years, and how these historical and scientific changes are reflected in the scales designed to measure passionate love.
Book
www.intensivelongitudinal.com : A complete, practical guide to planning and executing an intensive longitudinal study, this book provides the tools for understanding within-subject social, psychological, and physiological processes in everyday contexts. Intensive longitudinal studies involve many repeated measurements taken on individuals, dyads, or groups, and include diary and experience sampling studies. A range of engaging, worked-through research examples with datasets are featured. Coverage includes how to: select the best intensive longitudinal design for a particular research question, model within-subject change processes for continuous and categorical outcomes, distinguish within-subject from between-subjects effects, assess the reliability of within-subject changes, assure sufficient statistical power, and more. Several end-of-chapter write-ups illustrate effective ways to present study findings for publication. Datasets and output in SPSS, SAS, Mplus, HLM, MLwiN, and R for the examples are available on the companion website (www.intensivelongitudinal.com).
Article
Testing multilevel mediation using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) has gained tremendous popularity in recent years. However, potential confounding in multilevel mediation effect estimates can arise in these models when within-group effects differ from between-group effects. This study summarizes three types of HLM-based multilevel mediation models, and then explains that in two types of these models confounding can be produced and erroneous conclusions may be derived when using popularly recommended procedures. A Monte Carlo simulation study illustrates that these procedures can underestimate or overestimate true mediation effects. Recommendations are provided for appropriately testing multilevel mediation and for differentiating within-group versus between-group effects in multilevel settings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This cross-cultural research explored the relationship between Hatfield & Rapson's (1993) love types and subjective well-being. College students from an individualistic culture (USA) and a collectivist culture (Korea) completed the Passionate Love Scale (PLS; Hatfield & Rapson), the Companionate Love Scale (CLS; Sternberg, 1986), the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS; Pivot & Diener, 1993), and the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS; Watson, Clarke, & Tellegen, 1988). It was found that two love types are related to subjective well-being in a different way: life satisfaction was more strongly predicted by companionate love than by passionate love, whereas positive and negative emotions were more accounted for by passionate love than by companionate love. No culture and gender difference was found in this overall relationship, but gender difference was found in the extent of the association between companionate love and satisfaction with life, and between passionate love and emotional experiences, respectively.
Article
This book explores a single theme—that the emotions, cognitions, and behaviors of love can be understood in terms of a basic motivation to expand the self. It also provides a broad overview of the literature on interpersonal attraction and on the maintenance of close relationships—not only romantic relationships, but friendship, sibling, and parent- child relationships as well. The book's main purpose, however, is to stimulate thinking by offering a new approach to unifying this wealth of data, using the idea of self-expansion, and to illustrate this idea's theoretical and practical implications. As for the book's authors, we are two psychologists—one social, one clinical; the intended readers are our colleagues in psychology, sociology, marriage and family counseling, communications, psychiatry, ethology, and other fields, who are researching and/or trying to facilitate loving relationships. We also hope that the book will be useful for students in graduate or advanced undergraduate courses studying close relationships. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
A 27-item checklist of reasons for divorce was administered to 207 men (aged 23–78 yrs) and 230 women (aged 21–68 yrs) divorcing in the mid-1980s. Factor analysis revealed 9 dimensions underlying the checklist responses. The most frequently cited factors were unmet emotional needs/growing apart, lifestyle differences or boredom with the marriage, and high-conflict demeaning relationships. Statistically significant sex, age, and socioeconomic differences were found. Correlates between the factors and individual psychological functioning, parental functioning, and the emotional ambiance of the divorce reflected diversity among the divorcing population and implications for legal and mental health practice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Assessed 5 measures of love: the Love Attitudes Scale, the Triangular Theory of Love Scale, the Passionate Love Scale, the Relationship Rating Form, and a measure of love and attachment (Shaver & Hazan, 1987). The measures were given to 391 unmarried college students. Correlations revealed predictable relations among the subscales; however, psychometric analyses revealed problems in some of the measures. Factor analysis yielded 6 factors for the Love Attitudes Scale and 1 for the Passionate Love Scale, similar to previous research. Results for the Triangular Theory of Love Scale and for the Relationship Rating Form suggest strong interdependency among each measure's subscales. Factors analysis of all subscales together yielded 5 distinct factors, reflecting themes of passionate love, closeness, ambivalence, secure attachment, and practicality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
W. M. Kephart (1967) conducted a study in which women, much more so than men, reported that the absence of romantic love would not necessarily deter them from contracting a marriage. Two investigations reassessed these results by surveying 246 undergraduates in 1976 and 339 undergraduates in 1984. In these studies, most Ss of both sexes viewed romantic love as a necessary prerequisite to establishing a marital relationship. Romantic love was perceived to play a critical role not only in the establishment of a marital relationship but in its maintenance as well. Findings are discussed in the context of the social changes that have occurred in American society since the time of Kephart's 1st survey, many of which have had especially profound effects on the lives of women. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Reviews what social psychologists, evolutionary theorists, anthropologists, historians, and cross-cultural researchers have discovered about the nature of passionate love, in general, and sexual desire, in particular. Evidence is presented that argues that (1) the major cultural groups are more similar in their views of love, sex, and intimacy than the stereotypes would suggest; (2) cultural and gender differences may often be less powerful than individual personality differences in shaping attitudes and behavior; and (3) "Westernization" (equality for men and women, and pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain as desirable goals) in the developed world may very likely prevail in the arenas of love, sex, and intimacy. This westernization is seen as creating trends toward marriage for love (sexual desire) and greater sexual permissiveness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Two prospective, longitudinal studies examined the consequences of falling in love, focusing on predictions developed in the context of A. Aron and E. N. Aron's (1986, in press) self-expansion model of motivation and cognition in close relationships. In each study a sample with a high expected incidence of falling in love (first- and second-year undergraduates in the fall term) was tested 5 times over 10 weeks. At each testing participants indicated whether they had fallen in love and either made open-ended lists of self-descriptive terms (Study 1; N = 329) or completed standard self-efficacy and self-esteem measures (Study 2; N = 529). As predicted, after falling in love there was greater change and increased diversity of self-concept domains (Study 1) and increased self-efficacy and self-esteem (Study 2). Partial correlation analyses suggested that results in both studies were not due to mood change. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Although Judith Wallerstein's research on children with divorced parents has been influential, many quantitative family scholars have criticized her methods and conclusions. Wallerstein claims that children with divorced parents often reach adulthood as psychologically troubled individuals who find it difficult to maintain stable and satisfying relationships with others. Consistent with Wallerstein's claims, quantitative research suggests that parental divorce increases the risk of experiencing psychological problems, having a discordant marriage, seeing one's own marriage end in divorce, and having weak ties to parents (especially fathers) in adulthood. The accumulated evidence, however, reveals that the estimated effects of divorce are not as strong as Wallerstein appears to claim. I provide examples from the Marital Instability Over the Life Course study to illustrate the magnitude of divorce effects. I conclude with a call for a rapprochement between Wallerstein and her critics.
Article
This paper proposes that mammals exhibit three primary emotion categories for mating and reproduction: (1) the sex drive, or lust, characterized by the craving for sexual gratification; (2) attraction, characterized by increased energy and focused attention on one or more potential mates, accompanied in humans by feelings of exhilaration, “intrusive thinking” about a mate, and the craving for emotional union with this mate or potential mate; and (3) attachment, characterized by the maintenance of close social contact in mammals, accompanied in humans by feelings of calm, comfort, and emotional union with a mate. Each emotion category is associated with a discrete constellation of neural correlates, and each evolved to direct a specific aspect of reproduction. The sex drive is associated primarily with the estrogens and androgens; it evolved to motivate individuals to seek sexual union. The attraction system is associated primarily with the catecholamines; it evolved to facilitate mate choice, enabling individuals to focus their mating effort on preferred partners. The attachment system is associated primarily with the peptides, vasopressin, and oxytocin; it evolved to motivate individuals to engage in positive social behaviors and assume species-specific parental duties. During the evolution of the genus Homo, these emotion systems became increasingly independent of one another, a phenomenon that contributes to human mating flexibility and the wide range of contemporary human mating and reproductive strategies.
Article
Self-determination theory (SDT) maintains that an understanding of human motivation requires a consideration of innate psychological needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness. We discuss the SDT concept of needs as it relates to previous need theories, emphasizing that needs specify the necessary conditions for psychological growth, integrity, and well-being. This concept of needs leads to the hypotheses that different regulatory processes underlying goal pursuits are differentially associated with effective functioning and well-being and also that different goal contents have different relations to the quality of behavior and mental health, specifically because different regulatory processes and different goal contents are associated with differing degrees of need satisfaction. Social contexts and individual differences that support satisfaction of the basic needs facilitate natural growth processes including intrinsically motivated behavior and integration of extrinsic motivations, whereas those that forestall autonomy, competence, or relatedness are associated with poorer motivation, performance, and well-being. We also discuss the relation of the psychological needs to cultural values, evolutionary processes, and other contemporary motivation theories.
Article
This research tested three models of how the relationship evaluation components of satisfaction, commitment, intimacy, trust, passion, and love a structured and cognitively represented. Participants in Study 1 rated their intimate relationships on six previously developed scales that measured each construct and on a new inventory-the Perceived Relationship Quality Components (PRQC) Inventory. As predicted, confirmatory factor analysis revealed that, for both sets of scales, the best-fitting model was one in which the appropriate items loaded reliably on the six first-order factors, which in turn loaded reliably on one second-order factor reflecting overall perceived relationship quality. These results were replicated on a different sample in Study 2 and across sex. Implications and advantages of the PRQC Inventory are discussed.
Article
Helping smokers quit is important as smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S. Smoking activates the mesolimbic dopamine reward system which is also responsible for pleasure associated with other behaviors, including engaging in novel, exciting and/or challenging (i.e., self-expanding) events. We hypothesized that the reward activation achieved by experiencing self-expanding events can supplant the reinforcement normally provided by smoking and can thus facilitate quitting. We investigated this hypothesis among 74 current and 66 former smokers who reported the self-expanding events they experienced for the 2 months prior to their most successful or final, quit attempt, respectively. Former smokers, compared to current smokers, reported significantly more self-expanding events and that the events were more helpful to their quitting. For current smokers, there was a significant moderate-to-large positive correlation between number of self-expanding events and number of days subsequently abstained from smoking. The results support the proposition that experiencing self-expanding activities or events can be beneficial for smoking abstinence.
Article
The self-expansion model of close relationships posits that when couples engage in exciting and activating conjoint activities, they feel connected with their partners and more satisfied with their relationships. In the present study, the experience sampling method was used to examine the predictions of the self-expansion model in couples' momentary experiences. In addition, the author generated several new hypotheses by integrating the self-expansion model with existing research on flow. Over the course of 1 week, 20 couples were signaled at quasi-random intervals to provide data on 1,265 unique experiences. The results suggest that the level of activation experienced during an activity was positively related to experience-level relationship quality. This relationship was consistent across free-time and nonfree-time contexts and was mediated by positive affect. Activation was not found to predict later affect unless the level of activation exceeded what was typical for the individual. Also examined was the influence of interpersonal context and activity type on self-expansion. The results support the self-expansion model and suggest that it could be considered under the broader umbrella of flow.
Article
Theorists such as Farber argue that in adolescence passionate love first appears in all its intensity. Both adolescence and passion are "intense, overwhelming, passionate, consuming, exciting, and confusing". As yet, however, clinicians have been given little guidance as to how to deal with adolescents caught up in their passionate feelings. Nor has there been much research into the nature of passionate love. In Section I of this paper, we define passionate love, explain the necessity of developing a scale to measure this concept, and review evidence as to the nature of passionate love. In Section 2, we report a series of studies conducted in developing the Passionate Love Scale (the PLS). We present evidence as to the PLS's reliability, validity, and relationship to other factors involved in close relationships. We end by describing how we have used this scale in family therapy to open conversations about the nature of passionate love/companionate love/and intimacy... and discussing profitable directions for subsequent research.
Article
To build on existing theories about love, we propose that passion is a function of change in intimacy (i.e., the first derivative of intimacy over time). Hence, passion will be low when intimacy is stable (either high or low), but rising intimacy will create a strong sense of passion. This view is able to account for a broad range of evidence, including frequency of sex in long-term relationships, intimate and sexual behavior of extraverts, gender differences in intimate behavior, gain and loss effects of communicated attraction, the biologically atypical human preference for face-to-face coitus, and patterns of distress in romantic breakups. Although this view may provide a good fit to available evidence, the totality of evidence is not yet adequate for a definitive conclusion, and suggestions for further research are offered.