Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

People Think They Reap What They Sow In Relationships

Date:
June 12, 2007
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
People gauge how responsive their partners are primarily by how they themselves respond to their partners--not the other way around, according to a series of Yale studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

People gauge how responsive their partners are primarily by how they themselves respond to their partners—not the other way around, according to a series of Yale studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Related Articles


“We have examined this in different ways,” said Margaret Clark, faculty author and psychology professor. “In studies of marriage we’ve found that what people report they do for their partners is a better predictor of what they think their spouse does for them than are the spouse’s own reports of what was done.”

“Most surprisingly,” she said, “when Edward Lemay, a senior Yale graduate student, brought people into the lab and asked leading questions to make them feel supportive or non-supportive of their partner, the first group reported that their partner is more supportive toward them than did the second group.”

Responsiveness in this instance means anything a person does that promotes the partner’s welfare, such as helping with tasks, providing comfort and information, encouraging a person to strive toward goals, including a partner in desirable joint activities, and providing symbolic support, such as words of affection, hugs, and sending greeting cards.

Clark and co-authors Lemay and Brooke Feeney, a Carnegie Mellon University professor, report findings from three studies, all of which suggest that only a small fraction of how people gauge their partners’ responsiveness to their needs is based on what the partners do. Most of it is based on what they themselves do and feel.

“We are calling this projection of responsiveness,” Clark said, “which means seeing your relationship partner as behaving in the same manner toward you as you do toward that partner. That is, you see your partner as about as responsive to your welfare as you are to your partner’s welfare, regardless of the partner’s true behavior.”

The researchers said they conducted the studies because an essential feature of the health and well-being of a mutual communal relationship is believing that one’s partner cares about one’s welfare and will attend and respond to one’s desires, needs, and goals. Not only do people who care about their partners perceive that their partners in turn care about them, they become more satisfied with their relationship over time.

“Sadly, the flip side is true too,” Clark said. “Those who are uncaring believe their apathy is reciprocated, which undermines their satisfaction.”

Reference: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 92: 834-853 (May 2007)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "People Think They Reap What They Sow In Relationships." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070612143625.htm>.
Yale University. (2007, June 12). People Think They Reap What They Sow In Relationships. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070612143625.htm
Yale University. "People Think They Reap What They Sow In Relationships." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070612143625.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) A new study found losing just half an hour of sleep could make you gain weight. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) According to a report from the CDC, suicide rates among young women increased from 1994 to 2012 while rates among young men have decreased. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 3, 2015) Super Bowl champions Sidney Rice and Steve Weatherford donate their brains, post-mortem, to scientific research into repetitive brain trauma. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Newsy (Mar. 3, 2015) Researchers found an abnormal protein associated with Alzheimer&apos;s disease in the brains of 20-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins