Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is Your Dating Partner Happy? With Some People It Is Hard To Know

Date:
February 14, 2008
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
People who are highly attuned to social convention and control their behavior and self-image accordingly have been found to be highly likeable and successful at work. But when it comes to romance, new research finds they often are uncommitted to and unsatisfied with their dating partners. What's more, the partners of these high self-monitors may not know that.

Research tends to focus on the positives of self-monitoring -- a personality characteristic that accounts for how attuned individuals are to societal conventions as well as the degree to which "appropriateness" controls their behavior and moderates how they present themselves to others.

"High self-monitors are social chameleons," says Northwestern University researcher Michael E. Roloff. "And, because they're quick to pick up on social cues, are socially adept and unlikely to say things upsetting to others, they are generally well-liked and sought after.

"Research finds them to be excellent negotiators and far more likely to be promoted at work than their low self-monitoring peers."

But there's a downside for high self-monitors when it comes to their romantic relationships. "High self-monitors may appear to be the kind of people we want to have relationships with, but they themselves are less committed to and less happy in their relationships than low self-monitors," said the Northwestern professor of communication studies.

In "The Dark Side of Self-Monitoring: How High Self-Monitors View Their Romantic Relationships" in the journal Communication Reports, Roloff and co-authors Courtney N. Wright and Adrienne Holloway present their findings from a study of 97 single young adults.

"The desire to alter one's personality to appropriately fit a given situation or social climate prevents high self-monitors from presenting their true selves during intimate interactions with their romantic partners," says Roloff. "High self-monitors are very likeable and successful people. However, it appears they're just not deep."

Their propensity to self-censor prompts them to avoid face-threatening interactions that more honest self-disclosures potentially provide. The result: the partners of high self-monitors may be completely in the dark about the extent of their high self-monitoring partner's degree of commitment and regard.

"It's not that high self-monitors are intentionally deceptive or evil," Roloff says. "They appear to have an outlook and way of achieving their goals that makes them attractive to us socially but that prevents them from being particularly happy or loyal in their romantic relationships."

Conversely, the researchers found that low self-monitors -- people who are the least concerned with social appropriateness and are unlikely to mask their feelings or opinions to avoid confrontation or preserve their self-image -- are more committed to and more satisfied with their relationships.

Low self-monitors communicate in a more genuine, intimate way, but they also may say blunt and hurtful things to their partners. Their 'disclosive' communication and loyalty can extract a price from their partners.

Fortunately, says Roloff, self-monitoring is normally distributed, so the likelihood is that we wind up with partners who are neither excessively low nor excessively high self-monitors.

The Northwestern researchers surveyed study participants about the levels of emotional commitment in their romantic relationships and used five measures to assess their degrees of self-monitoring, intimate communication, levels of emotional commitment, relational satisfaction and relational commitment.

They did not survey the partners of study participants. "That may be something we eventually should look at," Roloff says.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Is Your Dating Partner Happy? With Some People It Is Hard To Know." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080211111330.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2008, February 14). Is Your Dating Partner Happy? With Some People It Is Hard To Know. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080211111330.htm
Northwestern University. "Is Your Dating Partner Happy? With Some People It Is Hard To Know." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080211111330.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. 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:
from the past week

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