Kathleen L. Carswell's research while affiliated with Durham University and other places

Publications (16)

Article
Full-text available
There are massive literatures on initial attraction and established relationships. But few studies capture early relationship development: the interstitial period in which people experience rising and falling romantic interest for partners who could—but often do not—become sexual or dating partners. In this study, 208 single participants reported o...
Article
Full-text available
In an integrative review, we examine four theories and models of romantic passion to determine what causes feelings of romantic passion. Although a growing consensus has emerged for the definition of romantic passion, we suggest that this is largely not the case for the source of romantic passion. We outline how four different perspectives—Limerenc...
Preprint
There are massive literatures on initial romantic attraction and established, “official” relationships. But there is a gap in our knowledge about early relationship development: the interstitial stretch of time in which people experience rising and falling romantic interest for partners who have the potential to—but often do not—become sexual or da...
Article
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 pr...
Article
Full-text available
This research introduces the construct of couple identity clarity—the extent to which an individual, as one of two partners in a romantic relationship, believes that the two of them know who they are as a couple. Cross-sectional (Studies 1–2), experimental (Study 3), and longitudinal (Study 4) studies supported the hypothesis that couple identity c...
Preprint
Despite facing daunting odds of academic success compared with their more socioeconomically advantaged peers, many students from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds maintain high levels of academic motivation and persist in the face of difficulty. We propose that for these students, academic persistence may hinge on their perceptions of soci...
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...
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 emp...
Article
Full-text available
Attachment shapes people’s experiences in their close relationships and their self-views. Although attachment avoidance and anxiety both undermine relationships, past research has primarily emphasized detrimental effects of anxiety on the self-concept. However, as partners can help people maintain stable self-views, avoidant individuals’ negative v...
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 hypot...
Article
Full-text available
Despite facing daunting odds of academic success compared with their more socioeconomically advantaged peers, many students from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds maintain high levels of academic motivation and persist in the face of difficulty. We propose that for these students, academic persistence may hinge on their perceptions of soci...
Article
We investigated how power dynamics in close relationships influence the tendency to devote resources to the pursuit of goals valued by relationship partners, hypothesizing that low (vs. high) power in relationships would lead individuals to center their individual goal pursuit around the goals of their partners. We study 2 related phenomena: partne...
Article
We investigated how power dynamics in close relationships influence the tendency to devote resources to the pursuit of goals valued by relationship partners, hypothesizing that low (vs. high) power in relationships would lead individuals to center their individual goal pursuit around the goals of their partners. We study 2 related phenomena: partne...
Article
Throughout American history, the fundamental purpose of marriage has shifted from (a) helping spouses meet their basic economic and political needs to (b) helping them meet their intimacy and passion needs to (c) helping them meet their autonomy and personal-growth needs. According to the suffocation model of marriage in America, these changes have...
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 fulfil...
Article
Full-text available
This article serves as a response to the 13 commentaries on the target article, which introduced the suffocation model of marriage in America. This reply has four main sections. First, it presents an elaborated version of the suffocation model that was inspired by the commentaries. Second, it addresses three areas of significant disagreement that e...

Citations

... Uncertainty is the driving force behind the development and maintenance of limerence (2). The individual experiencing limerence feels an attraction towards a particular "limerent object" (LO) whose willingness to reciprocate is uncertain. ...
... 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). ...
... Furthermore, regular competition makes relationships between entities more intimate and emotional (Chen, 2017). Consequently, as competitive relationships grow closer, positive and negative emotions underlying the relationship should increase (Berscheid, 1999;Emery et al., 2021). ...
... In one study, for instance, couples assigned to engage in escalating self-disclosure with another couple (the "fast friends" task discussed earlier) displayed greater subsequent passion for their romantic partner compared to couples assigned to engage in a small-talk control task with another couple (Welker et al., 2014). Similarly, individuals with more creative personalities (i.e., personal traits and dispositions associated with individuals judged to be more creative) and who engage in more creative behaviors-behaviors that likely result in self-expansion-are better able to maintain romantic passion over time compared to less creative individuals (Carswell et al., 2019). ...
... A number of lay beliefs about romantic relationships have previously been studied. These romance-relevant beliefs include ideas such as disagreement in relationships is destructive, mindreading is expected, the couple should be sexually perfect, sexes are different, partners cannot change (Eidelson & Epstein, 1982), partners are either meant for each other or not (Knee, 1998), and love finds a way (Sprecher & Metts, 1989; for further lay beliefs, see Carswell & Finkel, 2018;Cramer, 2004;Crocker et al., 2017;Franiuk et al., 2012). ...
... People with lower self-concept clarity relate more to an environmental or social factor such as an advertisement (Soneji et al., 2015). In a study on partner relationship behavior, Emery, Gardner, Carswell, and Finkel (2018) concluded that consumers' lower self-concept clarity (i.e., self-concept unclarity) was related to avoidance towards other people who manifest external cues. Moreover, consumers who display lower self-concept clarity (higher self-concept unclarity) can complete their self-concept by consuming a brand and using its brand identity to contribute to their perception of the "self". ...
... The rationale is as follows: For individuals high in SCC who have clear knowledge about their needs and purposes, SNSs can serve as effective tools for building and maintaining high quality interpersonal relationships and social connectedness, which translate into positive experiences of social support and then self-esteem, as suggested by Sociometer theory (Leary et al., 1995). For low SCC individuals who have unstable and uncertain knowledge about their self-views, SNSs may serve as a tool for self-clarity exploration (Israelashvili et al., 2012), but a fragmented self-concept likely impedes adaptive social interactions and relationship building due to anxiety about disclosing a fractured selfconcept to others (Emery et al., 2018;Tajmirriyahi & Ickes, 2020). Further, lower SCC has been found to be related to problematic SNS use (e.g., SNS addiction and overuse) (Israelashvili et al., 2012;Quinones & Kakabadse, 2015), which was related to lower perceived social support and self-esteem (Caplan, 2002). ...
... Scholars argue that children's subjective social mobility reflects their positive expectations and sense of control regarding the future; these, in turn, will boost their psychological resilience and reduce the pressure of financial difficulties [2]. Positive perceptions of social mobility can also promote attitudes, leading to socioeconomic success (eagerness to improve academic performance, for example), particularly among adolescents with lower socioeconomic status [3,4]. Empirical studies have demonstrated that children's beliefs about achieving a higher future social status (i.e., higher than their parents') encourage academic motivation and resilience in the face of adversity [3,5]. ...
... At first glance it may seem that others in a position of power have more influence on selfregulation, as they frequently dictate the content of goals, as well as shape the process of goal pursuit (e.g., by providing resources). Research, however, has highlighted the importance of horizontal others, specifically relationship partners and friends, in providing support for goal pursuit (Gore, 2006;Koestner et al., 2012; although note that power dynamics impact goal pursuit even in relatively more horizontal relationships; Laurin et al., 2016). Such support can be provided in many different wayssupport has been classified as emotional, informational, appraisal, or instrumental (Tardy, 1985), as visible versus invisible (Girme, Overall, & Simpson, 2013), and autonomy-supportive versus directive . ...
... 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). ...