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Construal Level Theory and Power Dynamics in Close Relationships

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dc.contributor.advisor Le, Benjamin Williams, Jonathan H. 2012-07-26T14:36:33Z 2012-07-26T14:36:33Z 2012
dc.description.abstract The 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.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of Psychology
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.lcsh Abstraction
dc.subject.lcsh Interpersonal relations -- Psychological aspects
dc.subject.lcsh Power (Social sciences) -- Psychological aspects
dc.title Construal Level Theory and Power Dynamics in Close Relationships
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Haverford users only

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