Times, They Are a Changin': An Examination of Congruent Temporal Appraisals for Self and the Romantic Partner

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Cloutier, Anika Elisabeth




As time passes, people change. Change can affect relationships in many ways. I explored trajectories of expected change through time for people evaluating themselves or their romantic partner. Individuals perceive and predict change for their partners in similar ways as for themselves, expecting improvement from the present to the future (Study 1 and 2). I next explored how expected change for the self and for the partner in relation to one another affect relationships. Two partners might change congruently or change at different rates, in different ways. Predicting discrepant change was linked to lower relationship quality and less personal happiness compared to predicting no change or congruent change, both in correlational (Study 3 and 4) and primed designs (Study 5). Across studies, change expectations seemed most linked to outcomes when examined generally rather than in specific domains (Study 3-5). Growth can benefit relationships when it occurs congruently with one’s partner.


Psychology - Social




Carleton University

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