Journal article

Relational discrepancy theory: The implications of self-discrepancy theory for dyadic relationships and for the emergence of social structure

G Robins, J Boldero

PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW | LAWRENCE ERLBAUM ASSOC INC | Published : 2003

Abstract

Relationship formation and maintenance is guided by more than similarity between partners' actual selves. Expanding the domain of self-discrepancy theory (SDT; Higgins, 1987), we propose that a type of discrepancy previously not considered-discrepancies between self-aspects of relational partners-is central to relationship cognition, including perceptions of intimacy and trust, and to the emergence of roles within relationships. Our argument relates both to unconstrained environments, where individuals freely choose partners, and constrained environments (e.g., workplaces) with relationships imposed. We argue that SDT's prediction of emotional consequences from discrepancies permits a motiva..

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