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Healthy communication is an integral part of successful intimate relationships. Consider, for example, how Chris might seek information about his partner Sandra; he may feel comfortable asking Sandra directly about what he wants to know but, alternately, he may be more hesitant to be so upfront and instead prefer trying to gather the information in more subtle, indirect ways (e.g., asking Sandra’s friends about her). Experiencing a reluctance to communicate directly with romantic partners, especially when seeking specific information, may be particularly common for individuals who score high on attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, or both. These individuals tend to have more turbulent and dissatisfying relationships (e.g., Collins & Read, 1990; Simpson, 1990). This may be associated with the use of indirect information-seeking strategies that can impair the development of closeness and support (Emmers-Sommer, 2004).
The present study seeks to examine the association between adult attachment orientation and use of direct vs. indirect information seeking strategies by examining video recorded interactions between heterosexual dyads tasked with gathering new information regarding a relationship-salient topic. The first part of the study is an online intake session in which both members of the couple will separately complete questionnaires about themselves, their partner, and their relationship (e.g., measures of attachment, personality, perspective-taking, partner support, relationship satisfaction). The first part of the study is an online intake session in which participants will complete several questionnaires.The second part of the study is a lab session in which both members of the couple will separately complete additional questionnaires, before engaging in an 8-minute discussion task, and finally answering questionnaires about the discussion itself. Trained coders will view these recorded discussions and record observational data on information seeking strategies used.
This research will determine the role of adult attachment orientation in the use of direct and/or indirect information seeking strategies and will benefit from three sources of data (partner 1, partner 2, coder).
*Note, at time of registration no data have been collected. Data collection is anticipated to begin in April, 2017 and conclude in April, 2018.
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