Cognitive concepts of the self and romantic relationships

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3 Scopus citations


The present study applied 2 complementary cognitive concepts of the self (i.e., self-complexity [SC] and self-concept differentiation [SCD]) to the area of romantic relationships and developed corresponding measures of cognitive concepts of romantic relationships (relationship complexity [RC] and relationship-concept differentiation [RCD], respectively). Then the associations between the cognitive concept measures and the degrees to which the participant's negative affect had been increased due to the recall of negative events in the romantic relationship were examined. Eighty-nine college students who were currently involved in a romantic relationship participated in the study. Results showed that the relationship-concept measures were related to, but not identical with, the self-concept measures. A greater affective reaction to the recall of a negative event in the romantic relationship was associated with a higher score in SC and a lower score in RC, whereas this affective reaction was neither significantly related to SCD nor to RCD. The findings imply that the relationship concept measures developed in the present study contribute significantly to the understanding of affective reactivity in romantic relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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