Commitment expectations in romantic relationships : application of a prototype interaction-pattern model

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Date

2006-05

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Hampel, Alexa Danelle

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Abstract

A prototype interaction-pattern model of interpersonal expectations was recently proposed suggesting that people develop knowledge of the interaction patterns, or ways of relating, that shape interpersonal expectations. Further, the model posits that these patterns are structured as prototypes. Three studies were conducted to investigate whether commitment expectations in a romantic relationship can be described using this model. Study 1 explored the notion that people are able to access and describe the fundamental interaction patterns that produce a sense of commitment in a romantic relationship. Study 2 assessed the structure of the patterns to test the prediction that these ways of relating are organized as prototypes, such that some patterns are more likely to create a sense of commitment in a romantic relationship than others. Study 3 explored the prototype structure further by examining the effects of prototypical and nonprototypical pattern violations on relationship commitment. The utility of the prototype interaction-pattern model for analyzing commitment expectations in a romantic relationship was supported in all three studies.

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