Title

The commitment calibration hypothesis: When do people devalue attractive alternatives?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-1999

Publication Title

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

Volume

25

Issue

2

First page number:

152

Last page number:

161

Abstract

The authors theorized that adversity elicits relationship maintenance responses when level of adversity is calibrated with level of commitment. To test this, the authors examined the commitment-devaluation effect: Those committed to a close relationship are thought to devalue attractive alternatives. Two levels of adversity were operationalized. Participants evaluated an attractive alternative (moderate threat), or participants evaluated the same target after learning that the target was attracted to them (high threat). Unmarried and low on a relationship commitment scale was considered low commitment; unmarried but high or married but low on the scale were considered moderately committed. Finally married and high on the scale was considered high commitment. Under moderate threat, moderately committed rated the alternative as less attractive than those low and high in commitment. Under high threat, those high in commitment rated the alternative as less attractive than those low and moderately committed. Gender differences and comparisons with single people were examined.

Keywords

Commitment (Psychology); Man-woman relationships; Relationship quality; Sexual attraction

Disciplines

Community-Based Research | Counseling Psychology | Health Psychology | Medicine and Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology

Language

English

Permissions

Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or use interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the article. Publisher copyright policy allows author to archive post-print (author’s final manuscript). When post-print is available or publisher policy changes, the article will be deposited

Identifier

DOI: 10.1177/0146167299025002002

Publisher Citation

Lydon, J. E., Meana, M., Sepinwall, D., Richards, N., & Mayman, S. (1999). The commitment calibration hypothesis: When do people devalue attractive alternatives?. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25(2), 152-161.

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