The catastrophe theory of attitudes predicts that people's attitudes will be more extreme and stable for important issues than for unimportant issues. In this study, we applied these predictions to people's attitudes about their dose relationships. College students in heterosexual dating relationships rated how satisfied they felt a same-sex target person would be in 8 relationship scenarios involving a positive or negative event. The scenarios varied the initial satisfaction of the target (low/high), relationship type (romantic/nonromantic), and relationship importance (low/high). Supporting our hypotheses, participants believed that the targets' satisfaction would be more extreme and less affected by a single event in important relationships than in unimportant relationships, especially if the target was initially satisfied in the relationship.
Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference
©2002 by the University of Northern Iowa
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA
Clewell, Mandy; Christensen, Stacey; and Harton, Helen C.
"Relationship Satisfaction as a Function of Importance and Event Positivity: How Much Impact Does One Event Have on a Relationship?,"
Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference: Vol. 6:
1, Article 9.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/csbsproceedings/vol6/iss1/9