ERIC Number: ED326793
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Relationship Satisfaction and Attentiveness to Alternatives.
Miller, Rowland S.; Simpson, Jeffry A.
Social exchange theory asserts that satisfaction is not the only factor that determines whether relationships last. Whether or not individuals are happy, interactions are evaluated using a comparison level for alternatives that describes the quality of outcomes judged to be available in the other partnerships. In this study, college students (N=137) provided detailed descriptions of their current romances that delineated their current satisfaction, and attention to and evaluation of the alternative relationships available to them. Subsequently, 79 of those people participated in a laboratory procedure in which they provided evaluations of specific same-sex and opposite-sex targets presented to them in pictorial form. The results suggest that satisfaction with a relationship and interest in alternatives to that relationship are substantially (and negatively) interrelated. Contrary to existing theory, happy lovers may be blind to attractions that would (and do) disrupt lesser partnerships. The grass may be greener on the other side, but happy gardeners are less likely to notice. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (98th, Boston, MA, August 10-14, 1990).