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Gagne, F & Lydon, J. (2001). Mindset and close relationships: When bias leads to inaccurate predictions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 85-96.



The authors investigated whether mind-set influences the accuracy of relationship predictions. Because people are more biased in their information processing when thinking about implementing an important goal, relationship predictions made in an implemental mind-set were expected to be less accurate than those made in a more impartial deliberative mind-set. In Study 1, open-ended thoughts of students about to leave for university were coded for mind-set. In Study 2, mind-set about a major life goal was assessed using a self-report measure. In Study 3, mind-set was experimentally manipulated. Overall, mind-set interacted with forecasts to predict relationship survival. Forecasts were more accurate in a deliberative mind-set than in an implemental mind-set. This effect was more pronounced for long-term than for short-term relationship survival. Finally, deliberatives were not pessimistic; implementals were unduly optimistic.

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