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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2013 Feb;104(2):305-34. doi: 10.1037/a0030513. Epub 2012 Oct 29.

The dynamics of relationship promotion: controlling the automatic inclination to trust.

Author information

1
Psychology Department, Park Hall, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260-4110, USA. smurray@buffalo.edu

Abstract

A dynamic model of how trust regulates relationship promotion is proposed. The model assumes that trust has both impulsive (i.e., automatic attitude toward the partner) and reflective (i.e., beliefs about the partner's caring) forms. Because overriding evaluative impulses requires self-regulatory resources, the model further posits that self-regulatory capacity controls whether people strengthen relationship connections in the face of threats to reflective trust. Two experiments and 1 longitudinal daily diary study utilizing convergent manipulations and measures of self-regulatory capacity supported the model. Results revealed that acute uncertainty about a partner's caring increased relationship-promotive sentiment and behavior when (a) people lacked self-regulatory resources to question impulsively trusting sentiments and (b) when people had self-regulatory resources available to override impulsively distrusting sentiments. In contrast, acute uncertainty about a partner's caring decreased relationship-promotive sentiment and behavior when (a) people lacked the self-regulatory capacity to question impulsively distrusting sentiments and (b) when people had the self-regulatory capacity available to override impulsively trusting sentiments.

PMID:
23106252
DOI:
10.1037/a0030513
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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