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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004 Jul;87(1):80-95.

Feeling better about doing worse: social comparisons within romantic relationships.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. lockwood@psych.utoronto.ca

Abstract

The authors examined the role of closeness between self and partner in determining the impact of social comparisons within intimate relationships. To the extent that one's partner is a central aspect of one's identity, one may be able to restore one's positive self-regard following an upward comparison with the partner by turning to the relationship as a self-affirmational resource. Studies 1 and 2 examined reactions to imagined comparisons; Studies 3 and 4 examined reactions to actual comparison feedback. Across studies, closeness moderated the impact of upward comparisons with the partner; that is, higher closeness participants responded to a more successful partner by focusing on their relationship-related strengths. However, closeness did not moderate the impact of downward comparisons with the partner.

PMID:
15250794
DOI:
10.1037/0022-3514.87.1.80
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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