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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2003 Apr;29(4):512-23.

Getting to know you: the relational self-construal, relational cognition, and well-being.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, W112 Lagomarcino Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA.


Individuals with a highly relational self-construal define the self in terms of their close relationships with others. Consequently, they seek to nurture and develop new relationships. These studies examine individual differences in the self-construal in the context of a new roommate relationship, with a focus on cognitive aspects of relationship development. Study 1 revealed that persons with a highly relational self-construal were better able than others to predict a new roommate's values and beliefs. Study 2 showed that highly relational individuals tended to think optimistically about a new roommate's feelings about the relationship. The relational self-construal was more strongly related to these measures of relationship cognition in distant relationships than in very close relationships. Participants' self-construals and their perceptions of the closeness of the roommate relationship interacted in predicting well-being, revealing an unexpected negative relation between closeness and well-being for participants with a low relational self-construal.

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