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Soc Dev. 2013 Aug;22(3):499-521.

College Students' Revenge Goals Across Friend, Romantic Partner, and Roommate Contexts: The Role of Interpretations and Emotions.

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University of Alabama.
Duke University.


Residential college environments provide young people with distinctive relationship opportunities and challenges. A major purpose of the present study was to learn whether college students respond differently to conflict-of-interest vignettes in three different relationship contexts. Students were more likely to make negative interpretations about their romantic partner's behavior than they did about their friend's or roommate's behavior. They were also more likely to feel angry and hurt and to endorse hostile goals and strategies with romantic partners. A second major purpose was to learn about the types of interpretations and emotions associated with revenge goals in conflict-of-interest situations. Results indicated that interpreting the other person's actions as disrespectful and as rejecting was related to revenge goals and also predicted to revenge goals beyond the contributions of anger and hurt feelings.


conflict; friendship; romantic relationships; social cognition

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