Browsing Senior Theses by Subject "Abstraction"
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- ItemAbstraction Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: The Effects of Social Power and Construal on Relationship Investments, Alternatives, and Willingness to Sacrifice(2012) Field, James L.; Le, BenjaminThe present studies sought to explore the role of both power and construal (Smith & Trope, 2006) on specific romantic relationship predictors. Two studies, one external and one internal, used adaptations of Rusbult's (1980) investment model to explore the effects of power and construal on present and planned investments (Goodfriend & Agnew, 2008), global and specific alternatives (Simpson, 1987), and motives of sacrifice (Impett et al., 2005). Study 1 used a large and diverse sample for a correlational study, while Study 2 used a experimental design, and primed participants for high and low levels of construal. The studies found that, in general, low levels of power were associated with greater investments of all types, as well as greater willingness to sacrifice, while high power was associated greater perceived alternatives. Low construal was associated with greater perceived alternatives, while high construal was associated with greater overall investments and greater willingness to sacrifice. Overall, high construal appeared to facilitate greater positive relationship maintaining behavior. Further implications for the roles of construal and power in romantic relationships are discussed.
- ItemConstrual Level Theory and Power Dynamics in Close Relationships(2012) Williams, Jonathan H.; Le, BenjaminThe present studies explored the intersection of Construal Level Theory (CLT) and power dynamics in close relationships, examining their effects on investments, perception of alternatives, and willingness to sacrifice. CLT outlines the processes by which individuals consider distal events abstractly (high construal) or concretely (low construal). We define power in terms of inequalities in respective partners' dependence levels in relationships, where the more powerful partner is the one who is less dependent on the relationship. We also delved into how these two constructs affect specific types of investments (present, planned, tangible, and intangible), types of alternatives (global and specific), and motives for sacrifice (approach and avoid). Two studies were conducted: a correlational study (Study 1) and an experiment where we manipulated power and construal (Study 2), with hypotheses partially supported in Study 1. Low power and high construal were associated with more investments, fewer global alternatives, and demonstrating a greater willingness to sacrifice. The findings for construal appear to be particularly novel, as this area of the literature is somewhat sparse. Implications of our results and directions for further research are discussed.
- ItemPower and Construal Level in Close Relationships(2012) Emery, Lydia F.; Le, BenjaminPrevious research has established a robust association between high construal level (i.e., abstract thinking) and high power (Smith & Trope, 2006; Smith et al., 2008), yet this process has never been studied in the context of close relationships. In two studies, we examined the influence of power (defined as non-mutual dependence) and construal level (abstract or concrete thinking) on relationship investments, perception of alternatives, and willingness to sacrifice. In Study l, a cross-sectional design, we found that both low power and high construal level predict greater investments, fewer alternatives, and more willingness to sacrifice. We attempted to manipulate power and construal level experimentally in Study 2, but our manipulation was unsuccessful. These data show preliminary evidence that construal level assumes a markedly different function in close relationships: individuals with a high construal level behaved like those with low power, suggesting the importance of the relational context in altering psychological processes.