Automaticity in close relationships

Book Section

Defining Close Relationships The formation and maintenance of close relationships are likely manifestations of the fundamental human need for belonging and connection (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; see also Andersen, Reznik, & Chen, 1997). We define close relationships in terms of the self in relation to significant others, and assume that each relationship with a significant other is mentally represented in this form. Specifically, the cognitive structure of each relationship is comprised of knowledge about the relevant significant other and self-knowledge reflecting who one is in the context of one’s relationship with the other. Such self-and significant-other knowledge structures are bound in memory by linkages that embody the typical patterns of self-other interaction. Although each relationship is unique in some manner (e.g., Hinkley & Andersen, 1996), we recognize that generalized relationship structures exist alongside relationship-specific ones (e.g., Klohnen, Weller, Luo, & Choe, 2005; Ogilvie & Ashmore, 1991; Pierce & Lydon, 2001). Numerous approaches to close relationships assume that significant-other representations are distinct in memory from self representations, and yet also assume, as we do, that these representations are linked in memory. Evidence supports both of these assumptions, even though exact models of representation may vary (e.g., Andersen & Chen, 2002; Aron, Aron, Tudor, & Nelson, 1991; Baldwin, 1992).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chen, S; Fitzsimons, GM; Andersen, SM

Published Date

  • January 1, 2013

Book Title

  • Social Psychology and the Unconscious: The Automaticity of Higher Mental Processes

Start / End Page

  • 133 - 172

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781841694375

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4324/9780203783016-10

Citation Source

  • Scopus