The Michelangelo phenomenon

Rusbult, Caryl; Finkel, Eli J. and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2009. The Michelangelo phenomenon. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18(6), pp. 305-309. ISSN 09637214 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper reviews theory and research regarding the “Michelangelo phenomenon.” The Michelangelo model suggests that close partners sculpt one another's selves, shaping one another's skills and traits and promoting versus inhibiting one another's goal pursuits. As a result of the manner in which partners perceive and behave toward one another, each person enjoys greater or lesser success at attaining his or her ideal-self goals. Affirmation of one another's ideal-self goals yields diverse benefits, both personal and relational. The Michelangelo model and supportive empirical evidence are reviewed, the phenomenon is distinguished from related interpersonal processes, and directions for future work are outlined.

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Michelangelo phenomenon, interdependence, ideal self, relationships

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1 December 2009Published
30 June 2009Submitted

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Date Deposited:

25 Mar 2011 08:56

Last Modified:

11 Jun 2021 22:48

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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