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Menzies-Toman, D.A., & Lydon, J.E. (2005). Commitment motivated benign appraisals of partner transgression: Do they facilitate accommodation? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 22, 111-128.



The current investigation examines the hypothesis that commitment predicts increasingly benign appraisals of partner transgressions and that this may in turn lead to greater accommodation. A survey of 226 students in heterosexual dating relationships was conducted. Commitment, the perceived severity of partner transgressions, and accommodation were assessed. Commitment was significantly associated with the discrepancy between participant severity ratings and that of objective raters. Commitment predicted these benign appraisals more for objectively less severe transgressions. Although the commitment–accommodation association was replicated, benign appraisals did not mediate this relationship. However, benign appraisals were differentially associated with voice and loyalty responses, whereby voice was associated with decreased benign appraisals and loyalty with increased benign appraisals.

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