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Psychol Rev. 2015 Oct;122(4):648-73. doi: 10.1037/a0039654.

Transactive goal dynamics.

Author information

  • 1Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.
  • 2Department of Psychology, Northwestern University.
  • 3Department of Psychology, University of Georgia.


Transactive goal dynamics (TGD) theory conceptualizes 2 or more interdependent people as 1 single self-regulating system. Six tenets describe the nature of goal interdependence, predict its emergence, predict when it will lead to positive goal outcomes during and after the relationship, and predict the consequences for the relationship. Both partners in a TGD system possess and pursue self-oriented, partner-oriented, and system-oriented goals, and all of these goals and pursuits are interdependent. TGD theory states that relationship partners' goals, pursuit, and outcomes affect each other in a dense network of goal interdependence, ultimately becoming so tightly linked that the 2 partners are most accurately conceptualized as components within a single self-regulating system.

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