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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2000 Dec;79(6):933-40.

Ideals, perceptions, and evaluations in early relationship development.

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Psychology Department, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.


This research examined partner and relationship perceptions and ideal standards in 100 individuals over time, from the 1st to the 12th month of their dating relationships. As expected, the results revealed that (a) individuals evaluated their relationships on both distinct evaluative components and global evaluative dimensions, (b) higher ideal-perception consistency was associated with higher perceived quality of relationships and partners, (c) more positive perceptions of partners and relationships at earlier points in time were associated with more importance being placed on relevant ideals over time but not vice versa, and (d) higher levels of ideal-perception consistency predicted lower rates of relationship dissolution but were mediated through perceptions of relationship quality. These results support the ideal standards model (Fletcher & Simpson, in press).

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