The mating sociometer and attractive others: A double-edged sword in romantic relationships

Phillip Sean Kavanagh, Garth J O Fletcher, Bruce J Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Eighty-one participants were recruited to test the sensitivity of the mating sociometer to mate-value feedback in the context of ongoing intimate relationships. Experiences of social rejection/acceptance by attractive opposite-sex confederates were manipulated. The effects of this manipulation on self-esteem, relationship satisfaction and commitment, perceptions of dating alternatives, and friendship-dedication were assessed. Social rejection/acceptance by members of the opposite sex altered relationship satisfaction and commitment; this causal link was amplified by changes in state self-esteem; and these effects were specific to intimate relationships and did not generalize to friendship-dedication. This research supports a domain-specific conceptualization of sociometer theory, extending the theory in important directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-141
Number of pages16
JournalThe Journal of social psychology
Volume154
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2014

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Keywords

  • friendship dedication
  • relationship commitment
  • relationship satisfaction
  • romantic rejection
  • self-esteem
  • sociometer theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

Cite this

The mating sociometer and attractive others : A double-edged sword in romantic relationships. / Kavanagh, Phillip Sean; Fletcher, Garth J O; Ellis, Bruce J.

In: The Journal of social psychology, Vol. 154, No. 2, 04.03.2014, p. 126-141.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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