CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 3, 1999
Social psychology research published in UI-edited journal
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Research on predicting the longevity
of a romantic relationship, avoiding cultural faux pas and seeking a peer
group instead of a close friend will appear in the November 1999 issue of
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, which is published at the University
of Iowa and edited by Jerry M. Suls, a UI professor of psychology.
ROOMMATES ARE BEST PREDICTORS OF ROMATIC SUCCESS
Roommates are more accurate predictors of the longevity
of a romantic relationship than are the two people involved in the relationship,
say researchers at two Canadian universities. Tara K. MacDonald, of Queens
University, and Michael Ross, of the University of Waterloo, compared predictions
that lovers made about their own dating relationships with the predictions
made by their parents and roommates.
The researchers contacted participants six months
and one year after they were first interviewed for the study and asked if
they were still dating the same partner. This allowed MacDonald and Ross to
examine how long the relationships lasted as compared with how long the lovers,
roommates, and parents predicted the matches would endure.
The authors found that the lovers were more optimistic
that their new dating relationships would last than were their roommates and
parents, but that the lovers predictions were not more accurate than
those of their parents or roommates. In fact, the roommates estimates
of relationship longevity tended to be the most accurate.
MacDonald and Ross suggest that roommates tendencies
to assess whether it would be possible for the lovers to find another suitable
romantic partner, and their judgments about the future of the relationships
may give them an advantage when making predictions about relationship longevity.
For more information, contact MacDonald at (613) 533-2873.
AMERICANS SHOULD BE AWARE OF CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN PERSONALTIES
Americans involved in working relationships with international
colleagues should be aware that personality traits that are commonly understood
among Americans are often not found among natives of other countries, an Arizona
State University researcher says.
Robert B. Cialdini, Regents Professor of Psychology
at ASU, has found that while Americans tend to act in accordance with their
own personal track record, natives of Poland pattern their behavior after
the actions of their friends, families, and co-workers.
"The U.S. is dominated by individualism, which
is an orientation that assigns highest priority to the preferences and rights
of the person," Cialdini says. "However, many more nations are dominated
by a collective orientation, which assigns highest priority to the preferences
and rights of the group."
"I think our results offer a specific example
of a general rule that is becoming increasingly important in our globalized
environment," he continues. "To be effective in international communication,
we must not presume that our values and approaches are shared by members of
Cialdini conducted his research with Wilhelmina Wosinska,
Daniel Barrett, and Jonathan Butner at ASU and Malgorzata Gornik-Durose at
the University of Silesia in Poland.
For more information, contact Cialdini at (480) 965-4971.
THOSE WITH LOW SELF-ESTEEM OFTEN CHOOSE FRIENDSHIP OVER
For people with low self-esteem, being accepted by
others can take precedence over being liked and respected by others, say researchers
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at Florida Atlantic
Eric Rudich, of UNC, and Robin Vallacher, of FAU,
asked college students with high and low self-esteem to choose between two
potential interactions with partners of the same sex. The potential partners
differed in how they seemed to view the student, positively or negatively,
and in whether they thought they could establish a friendship with the student.
They found that students with high self-esteem tended
to choose to interact with the person who viewed him or her favorably, even
if the person did not express hope for forming a friendship. Conversely, the
students with low self-esteem consistently opted for the person who held out
the prospect of accepting them as friends, even if the potential friend offered
a negative commentary on their personalities.
The researchers say their findings shed light on why
some people are willing to embrace the beliefs and follow the lead of others
who offer only the prospect of acceptance in return. "In todays
socially fragmented world, a sense of social connection is lacking for many
people," Rudich says. "The consequences of this alienation can have
a profound impact, not only on friendship formation, but on participation
in groups with varying political and social agendas."
For more information contact Rudich at (919) 962-7636.