Francesca Righetti's research while affiliated with Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and other places

Publications (63)

Article
In the past 20 years, greater attention has been devoted to the study of self‐regulation in an interpersonal context. This review summarize this work and presents findings on how self‐regulation processes influence close relationship outcomes. The review is organized around the four ingredients of self‐regulation (i.e., standards, monitoring, self‐...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has touched many aspects of people’s lives around the world, including their romantic relationships. While media outlets have reported that the pandemic is difficult for couples, empirical evidence is needed to test these claims and understand why this may be. In two highly powered studies ( N = 3271) using repeated measure an...
Preprint
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has touched many aspects of people’s lives around the world, including their romantic relationships. While media outlets have reported that the pandemic is difficult for couples, empirical evidence is needed to test these claims and understand why this may be. In two highly powered studies (N = 3,271) using repeated measure an...
Article
Evidence suggesting that implicit partner evaluations (IPEs), but not explicit evaluations (EPEs), can predict later changes in satisfaction and relationship status has led researchers to postulate that IPEs must be especially sensitive to relational reward and costs. However, supporting evidence for this assumption remains scarce, and very little...
Article
The quality of romantic relationships influences physical and mental health. However, maintaining happy and healthy relationships is challenging; relationship satisfaction declines over time, and relationship dissolution is frequent. This raises the question of which factors contribute to the maintenance versus decline of relationship satisfaction....
Article
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People in romantic relationships tend to have positive feelings toward their partner and want their relationship to last. However, maintaining a romantic relationship over time is challenging, and people can often experience mixed and conflicting feelings (i.e., ambivalence) toward their significant other. While research has identified the serious...
Article
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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 prere...
Article
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Gossip—a sender communicating to a receiver about an absent third party—is hypothesized to impact reputation formation, partner selection, and cooperation. Laboratory experiments have found that people gossip about others' cooperativeness and that they use gossip to condition their cooperation. Here, we move beyond the laboratory and test several p...
Article
While previous research has found that prosocial behavior increases personal and relationship well-being, a particularly costly type of prosocial behavior—sacrifice—can sometimes have aversive effects and is the focus of the current review. We consider effects for both the individual who enacts the sacrifice and the recipient. Sacrifice can take a...
Article
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Following the global outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020, individuals report psychological distress associated with the “new normal”—social distancing, financial hardships, and increased responsibilities while working from home. Given the interpersonal nature of stress and coping responses between romantic partners, based on the systemic transaction...
Article
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Implicit ambivalence involves holding strong positive and negative implicit evaluations toward the same object. This state is common in close relationships because even the most satisfying partnerships involve in conflicts and other frustrating experiences that can be explained away through effortful motivated reasoning yet remain in memory as ment...
Article
Prior research indicated that lack of power leads to emotional suppression and low emotional expression during conflicts among strangers. However, little is known about how power affects emotional inhibition in close relationships, where partners are highly interdependent, and achieving one's goals greatly depends on their partner's cooperation. In...
Article
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This review offers close relationships as a fruitful avenue to address long-lasting questions and current controversies in implicit social cognition research. Close relationships provide a unique opportunity to study strong attitudes that are formed and updated through ongoing contact with significant others and appear to have important downstream...
Article
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This work adopts an Interdependence Theory framework to investigate how the features of interdependent situations that couples face in their daily life (i.e., situations in which partners influence each other’s outcomes) shape attachment security toward their current partners. An experience sampling study examined attachment tendencies and features...
Article
Given the powerful implications of relationship quality for health and well-being, a central mission of relationship science is explaining why some romantic relationships thrive more than others. This large-scale project used machine learning (i.e., Random Forests) to 1) quantify the extent to which relationship quality is predictable and 2) identi...
Article
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Do people realize the evaluative feelings that are spontaneously activated by their partner? If so, do they use those evaluations when judging their romantic relationships? To answer these questions, we investigated the association between automatic partner attitudes and judgments of relationship satisfaction in 7 studies. Study 1 was a meta analys...
Article
Prosocial behavior is often thought to bring benefits to individuals and relationships. Do such benefits exist when prosocial behavior is costly for the individual, such as when people are sacrificing for their partner or relationship? Although different theoretical accounts would predict that sacrifice is either positively or negatively associated...
Article
Recent work suggests that implicit partner evaluations have long-term implications for relationship success. However, little evidence shows whether and under which conditions implicit partner evaluations affect relationship maintenance processes in daily life, especially those exhibited in situations that may be highly decisive for the fate of the...
Preprint
Philosophers and scientists have long debated the nature of human social interactions and the prevalence of mutual dependence, conflict of interests, and power asymmetry in social situations. Yet, there is surprisingly little empirical work documenting the patterns of interdependence that people experience in daily life. We use experience sampling...
Preprint
A science of close relationships stands to benefit from an understanding of the situations in which interactions between partners take place. In this chapter, we briefly review recent advances in situation research. Within the current decade, several new taxonomies have been put forward that describe how people perceive situations. Functional Inter...
Article
Full-text available
Philosophers and scientists have long debated the nature of human social interactions and the prevalence of mutual dependence, conflict of interests, and power asymmetry in social situations. Yet, there is surprisingly little empirical work documenting the patterns of interdependence that people experience in daily life. We use experience sampling...
Chapter
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Interdependence, Interaction, and Close Relationships - edited by Laura V. Machia June 2020
Preprint
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Gossip—a sender communicating to a receiver about an absent third party—is hypothesized to impact reputation formation, partner selection, and cooperation. Lab experiments have found that people gossip about others’ cooperativeness and that they use gossip to condition their cooperation. Here, we move beyond the lab and test several predictions fro...
Article
Cambridge Core - Social Psychology - Interdependence, Interaction, and Close Relationships - edited by Laura V. Machia
Article
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When romantic partners sacrifice their own self-interest to benefit the relationship, the sacrificer or recipient may—for various reasons—be biased in how they perceive the costs that the sacrificer incurs. In Study 1, romantic couples ( N = 125) rated their own and their partner’s costs after a conversation about a sacrifice in the laboratory, fol...
Article
People in close relationships often need to sacrifice their own preferences and goals for the partner or the relationship. But what are the consequences of such sacrifices for relationship partners? In this work we provide a systematic investigation of the consequences of sacrifice in romantic relationships, both for the person who gives up their g...
Article
Research suggests that women's sexual psychology and behavior change across the ovulatory cycle, but very little is known about how fluctuations in estradiol and progesterone - two hormones that systematically vary across the ovulatory cycle - affect romantic relationship dynamics. We present the first dyadic study to assess daily hormonal fluctuat...
Article
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Romantic partners regularly encounter conflicts of interests and sacrifice their self-interest for their partner or the relationship. But is this relationship maintenance behavior always appreciated by the partner receiving the sacrifice? We examined whether expectations of sacrifices (i.e., beliefs that sacrifices are necessary, normal, and expect...
Article
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When considering whether to enact or not to enact a tempting option, people often anticipate how their choices will make them feel, typically resulting in a “mixed bag” of conflicting emotions. Building on earlier work, we propose an integrative theoretical model of this judgment process and empirically test its main propositions using a novel proc...
Article
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Accomplishing goals with others can be troublesome. Some people may work extra hard while others do much less. When does this workload asymmetry occur? The present research investigates the role of perceived partners’ self‐control in workload distribution. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that high self‐control individuals work harder and com...
Preprint
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Research in behavioural ethics repeatedly emphasizes the importance of others for people’s decisions to break ethical rules. Yet, in most lab experiments participants faced ethical dilemmas in full privacy settings. We conducted three experiments in which we compare such private set-ups to situations in which a second person is co-present in the la...
Data
FaureOpenPracticesDisclosure – Supplemental material for Speech Is Silver, Nonverbal Behavior Is Gold: How Implicit Partner Evaluations Affect Dyadic Interactions in Close Relationships
Data
FaureSupplementalMaterial – Supplemental material for Speech Is Silver, Nonverbal Behavior Is Gold: How Implicit Partner Evaluations Affect Dyadic Interactions in Close Relationships
Article
Full-text available
Growing evidence suggests that the seeds of relationship decay can be detected via implicit partner evaluations even when explicit evaluations fail to do so. However, little is known about the concrete daily relational processes that explain why these gut feelings are such important determinants of relationships’ long-term outcomes. The present int...
Thesis
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The Art of Sacrifice: Self-Other Dilemmas, Biased Perceptions, and the Emergence of Gratitude https://research.vu.nl/en/publications/the-art-of-sacrifice-self-other-dilemmas-biased-perceptions-and-t
Method
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This supplemental materials on predictors of sacrifice detection is supplemental to our article "To "see" is to feel grateful? A quasi-signal detection analysis of romantic partners' sacrifices", published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2018.
Article
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Although gratitude plays a central role in the quality of relationships, little is known about how gratitude emerges, such as in response to partners' sacrifices. Do people need to accurately see these acts to feel grateful? In two daily experience studies of romantic couples (total N = 426), we used a quasi-signal detection paradigm to examine the...
Article
Romantic partners often face situations in which their preferences, interests and goals are not well aligned—what is good for one partner is not good for the other. In these situations, people need to make a decision between pursuing their own self-interest and sacrificing for their partner or the relationship. In this work, we discuss antecedents...
Article
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Gratitude is robustly linked to many positive outcomes for individuals and relationships (e.g., greater life and relationship satisfaction). However, little is known about how romantic partners come to feel grateful for each other’s pro-relational acts, such as when a partner makes a sacrifice. The present research examines how perceptions of partn...
Article
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Low self-esteem is often related to interpersonal difficulties. In fact, low self-esteem people fear rejection and tend to adopt self-protection goals. In the present work, we tested the idea that when low self-esteem individuals decide to sacrifice personal preferences for their relationship, they come to regret those actions, with further consequ...
Article
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Major forms of corruption constitute a strong threat to the functioning of societies. The most frequent explanation of how severe corruption emerges is the slippery-slope metaphor-the notion that corruption occurs gradually. While having widespread theoretical and intuitive appeal, this notion has barely been tested empirically. We used a recently...
Article
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Although romantic partners strive to achieve an optimal balance in fulfilling both personal and relational concerns, they are inevitably challenged by how much time and effort they can dedicate to both concerns. In the present work, we examined the role of self-control in successfully maintaining personal–relational balance through promoting balanc...
Article
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Corruption represents 1 of the main societal challenges of our time. At present, there is no theoretical framework distinguishing the prospective decision-making processes involved in different acts of corruption. We differentiate between 2 broad categories of corrupt acts that have different implications for prospective cognition: individual corru...
Article
Empathy has often been discussed as a beneficial process from which favorable individual and interpersonal experiences may be derived. The present work investigates whether empathy may sometimes be a burden rather than a benefit, under certain interpersonal circumstances. Specifically, we hypothesized that encountering situations of divergence of i...
Article
Previous research has found that some people suppress their emotions when making a sacrifice for their relationship partner and that this can reduce relationship satisfaction. We suggest that trust in one's partner determines who suppresses their emotions during a sacrifice. We hypothesize that individuals with low, compared to high, trust in their...
Article
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Corruption poses one of the major societal challenges of our time. Considerable advances have been made in understanding corruption on a macro level, yet the psychological antecedents of corrupt behavior remain largely unknown. In order to explain why some people engage in corruption while others do not, we explored the impact of descriptive social...
Article
We discuss Rauthmann, Sherman, and Funder's framework in relation to an important characteristic of social situations-interdependence. Specifically, we discuss how the proposed framework raises awareness about the need to study how people think about their interdependence with others, such as do people think in terms of dimensions or prototypes of...
Article
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Romantic partners often have to sacrifice their interests to benefit their partner or to maintain the relationship. In the present work, we investigated whether relative power within the relationship plays an important role in determining the extent to which partners are likely to sacrifice. Drawing from both classic theories and recent research on...
Article
When people pursue important goals, they are often surrounded by close others who could provide help and support for the achievement of these goals. The present work investigated whether people are more likely to be open to such interpersonal goal support from a romantic partner when they perceive their goals as being easy versus difficult. Using a...
Article
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Although previous theories and research have suggested that human behavior is automatically driven by selfish impulses (e.g., vengeance rather than forgiveness), the present research tested the hypothesis that in close relationships, people's impulsive inclination is to be prosocial and to sacrifice for their partner-to pursue the interests of the...
Article
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To be a trustworthy partner, people need self-control. People infer others’ level of self-control from behavioral cues, and this perception influences how much they trust others. Exhibiting compulsive Internet use (CIU) might provide such cues. This research examined whether and how CIU affects perceptions of self-control and trust in a partner. In...
Article
The present work examines the role of each partner’s regulatory focus in the phenomenon of interpersonal goal support in close relationships. We examined the impact of regulatory orientation for interpersonal support of both ideal and ought self goals. Consistent with expectations, two studies revealed that to the extent that individuals were promo...
Article
Understanding plays a cardinal role in relationships. People desire and need to understand their relationship partners and, importantly, they need to feel understood by others in daily life. In this chapter we suggest that these needs are reflected in people's need to know and be known by others (understanding as knowledge) and their desire to be r...
Article
The positive effects of trust are manifold. Recent research has shown that trust levels may even influence physical health. The current work explores this issue and aims to shed light on the mechanisms underlying the relationship between trust and health in a 5‐wave longitudinal data set. Results showed that trust was positively related to physical...
Article
The present work examines whether individual goal pursuit is influenced by advice and suggestions from interaction partners whose regulatory orientation is perceived to fit (vs. not fit) the individual's orientation. We sought to investigate whether such interpersonal regulatory fit yields motivational consequences for goal pursuit that parallel th...
Article
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The present research tested the hypothesis that perception of others' self-control is an indicator of their trustworthiness. The authors investigated whether, in interactions between strangers as well as in established relationships, people detect another person's self-control, and whether this perception of self-control, in turn, affects trust. Re...
Article
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This work examines the consequences of regulatory focus in the context of the Michelangelo phenomenon, a process whereby interaction partners shape one another's goal pursuits. We advanced predictions regarding the intrapersonal and interpersonal consequences of target and partner promotion orientation using the concepts of target-goal congruence,...
Article
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This article examines how perceiving concealment in close relationships influences marital well-being. It suggests that the perception of concealment from a partner signals separateness from one's partner and contributes to feelings of perceived partner exclusion. These feelings of exclusion, in turn, should negatively affect relational quality. Th...

Citations

... Indeed, studies have shown that technoference in conjugal interactions has a great impact on family ecology. On the one hand, in the context of couples interacting, technoference can cause conflicts [22] and damage the marital relationship [16,23]. Contemporarily, conflicts in couples and the destruction of relationships will lead to the deterioration of the family atmosphere, which will create pressure for children. ...
... Given that different types of measures (implicit vs. self-report; Hicks et al., 2020) and different types of ambivalence (objective vs. subjective, explicit vs. implicit; (van Harreveld et al., 2015;Zayas et al., 2017) are weakly associated and frequently have different effects, we expect implicit ambivalence does in fact offer incremental predictive validity, but future work would prove informative. Second, future research may also benefit from examining how implicit ambivalence relates to or translates into explicit ambivalence, which prior work suggests may occur when individuals have more tolerance for conflicting feelings (e.g., dialectical thinkers; Shiota et al., 2010), reduced opportunities to engage in motivated reasoning (e.g., under stress; Hicks et al., 2020), or external threats making their ambivalence salient (e.g., attractive alternatives; Zoppolat et al., 2021). Third, future research may also illuminate the factors explaining how and why explicit ambivalence then becomes detrimental for relationships. ...
... Furthermore, there are also ways in which partners can facilitate these reappraisal processes, for example by showing care, understanding, and validation of the sacrificer's needs and interests when receiving a sacrifice [47]. ...
... According to previous studies, workplace gossip is a behavior whose occurrence and valence (positive vs. negative) are shaped by structural dimensions, in particular by underlying relationship ties (e.g., friendship, liking, enmity, trust; Turner et al., 2003;Grosser et al., 2010;Dores Cruz et al., 2021b). Since gossip requires at least three people in different roles (sender, receiver, and target), "structural antecedents" comprise the three ties within the gossip triad (Wittek and Wielers, 1998;Giardini and Wittek, 2019b): the sender-receiver, the sender-target, and the receivertarget relations. ...
... Meta-analytic findings on links between sacrifice and well-being demonstrate that although making a sacrifice is associated with lower personal well-being, it is not associated with relationship quality (Righetti, Sakaluk, et al., 2020). One reason for this may be that, to date, most research has focused on small-scale, daily sacrifices that may not be as difficult for partners to make (e.g., changing dinner plans; Righetti et al., 2022). Sacrifices may, however, be taxing on relationship quality when they are large-scale and highly costly to the self-such as when an individual relocates for their romantic partner's career . ...
... Country-specific responses (e.g., 'lockdowns' with region-specific timelines) were swiftly implemented to contain the global exponential spread of the virus. These measures were accompanied by unprecedented changes (Damşa et al., 2021;Randall et al., 2021;Yan et al., 2021;Zacher & Rudolph, 2021) to peoples' social lives during the Covid-19 pandemic (described henceforth as 'the pandemic'). For example, the first positive Covid-19 case in Germany emerged in January 2020. ...
... Such heightened dependence renders people particularly vulnerable if they possess low power (Kelley & Thibaut, 1978;. Actors low in power are relatively unable to control important outcomes, which can constrain their behavior, such as causing actors to inhibit their own feelings and desires (i.e., behavioral inhibition; e.g., Alonso-Ferres et al., 2021;Pietromonaco et al., 2021) and instead prioritize their partners' needs and goals (i.e., communal behavior; e.g., Laurin et al., 2016;Righetti, Luchies, et al., 2015;VanderDrift et al., 2013). The resulting difficulties in fulfilling their own needs, desires, and goals results in people who lack power experiencing poorer relationship and personal wellbeing (e.g., Kifer et al., 2013;see Agnew & Harmon, 2019). ...
... Rather than changing coaches' behaviors, this approach is about changing athletes' perceptions of their coaches based on automatic processes. In current research on interpersonal relationships, there is still a lack of interventions on the automatic processes (Faure et al., 2020;Van Dessel et al., 2020). Whereas EC interventions have been shown to be effective in marital relationships, its effectiveness in other areas of interpersonal relationships has not been examined. ...
... During other challenging events, such as the transition to parenthood, high levels of partner support buffers the poorer personal and relationship well-being typically experienced by individuals high in attachment anxiety, and reduces attachment anxiety over time [51][52][53][54] . Finally, experiences that indicate partners truly value them, such as satisfying sex or partner's gratitude, also help individuals high in attachment anxiety feel more satisfied, and reduce attachment anxiety over time, compared with when these events are not experienced [55][56][57][58] . The central ingredient across these buffering factors involves counteracting concerns of rejection by providing reassurance of the partner's love and continued commitment. ...
... Importantly, not only the individual's own commitment is important in determining relationship outcomes, but also the perception that the partner is committed, or motivated to have a long-lasting relationship. The perception that the partner is committed to the relationship has, in fact, emerged as one of the strongest predictors of relationship satisfaction (at least when assessed concurrently; Joel et al., 2020) and also an important determinant of stay/leave decisions (Joel et al., 2018). Furthermore, a dyadic approach to commitment has shown a weak-link effect, in that the fate of a relationship depends more strongly on the level of commitment of the partner who is less committed (Attridge et al., 1995;Orina et al., 2011). ...