To think or to do: the impact of assessment and locomotion orientation on the Michelangelo phenomenon

Kumashiro, Madoka; Rusbult, Caryl; Finkenauer, Catrin and Stocker, Shevaun L.. 2007. To think or to do: the impact of assessment and locomotion orientation on the Michelangelo phenomenon. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 24(4), pp. 591-611. ISSN 0265-4075 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This work examines how individual differences in assessment and locomotion shape goal pursuits in ongoing relationships. The Michelangelo phenomenon describes the role that close partners play in affirming versus disaffirming one another's pursuit of the ideal self. Using data from a longitudinal study of ideal goal pursuits among newly committed couples, we examined whether the action orientation that characterizes locomotion creates an optimal environment in which to give and receive affirmation, whereas the evaluative orientation that characterizes assessment creates a suboptimal environment for giving and receiving affirmation. Consistent with hypotheses, locomotion is positively associated with partner affirmation, movement toward the ideal self, and couple wellbeing, whereas parallel associations with assessment are negative. We also explore the behavioral mechanisms that may account for such associations.

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goals, partner affirmation, regulatory mode, romantic relationships

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1 August 2007Published

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Date Deposited:

25 Mar 2011 09:11

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 23:06

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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