Navigating personal and relational concerns: the quest for equilibrium

Kumashiro, Madoka; Rusbult, C. E. and Finkel, E. J.. 2008. Navigating personal and relational concerns: the quest for equilibrium. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(1), pp. 94-110. ISSN 0022-3514 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The authors' personal-relational equilibrium model suggests that people come to seek equilibrium in their dedication to personal and relational concerns in that these 2 important needs cannot always be gratified simultaneously. The authors proposed that the experience of personal-relational disequilibrium motivates attempts to restore equilibrium and that achieving equilibrium promotes life satisfaction. Four studies revealed good support for the model. In Study 1, a manipulation of anticipated future disequilibrium (vs. equilibrium) as a result of overdedication to either the personal or relational domain caused reduced motivation to address concerns in that domain and increased motivation toward the complementary domain. In Study 2, narratives describing disequilibrium experiences (vs. equilibrium experiences) exhibited increased motivation to restore equilibrium and reduced life satisfaction. In Study 3, diary reports of everyday disequilibrium were associated with increased same-day motivation to restore equilibrium, reduced same-day life satisfaction, and increased next-day dedication of effort to the complementary domain. In Study 4, experiences of disequilibrium predicted reduced well-being 6 months later. Collectively, these findings extend knowledge of how people regulate themselves toward equilibrium in pursuing 2 fundamental human concerns.

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"This article may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record."


romantic relationships, needs, self-regulation, equilibrium, well-being

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Research Office > REF2014


July 2008Published
30 September 2007Accepted
23 August 2006Submitted

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Date Deposited:

25 Mar 2011 09:08

Last Modified:

10 Jun 2021 18:31

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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