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Linardatos, L., & Lydon, J.E. (2011). A little reminder is all it takes: The effects of priming and relational self-construal on responses to partner transgressions. Self and Identity, 10, 85-100.



When faced with a partner transgression, what causes an individual to avoid the temptation to respond in kind? We theorized that for those who incorporate their close relationships into their sense of self, priming a mental representation of their romantic partner would activate relationship-relevant cognitive–affective associations that would promote pro-relationship responding. Dating undergraduates (N¼140; 81 females) received either a partner or control prime and later completed a measure of relationship maintenance. Results demonstrated that participants with a highly relational self-construal exhibited an increase in benign attributions for a partner transgression following a relationship reminder, controlling for relationship satisfaction and commitment. It was concluded that relational self-construal is an important individual difference variable in the experimental activation of relationship maintenance processes. 

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Student first author.