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The Experiences of Dating Couples: Replication of Murray et al (2002), Study 3

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Description: The purpose of this research project is to closely replicate a study originally published by Dr. Sandra Murray and her colleagues in 2002. Murray et al. (2002) found that individuals scoring lower (vs. higher) on self-esteem were more sensitive to perceived rejection from their romantic partner and reacted to this perceived threat by feeling less positive about their romantic partner, diminished closeness in their relationship, and heightened self-doubt. Moreover, the original researchers found that, in reality, the partners of lower and higher self-esteem persons reported similar levels of forgiveness, satisfaction, and other relationship outcomes, meaning that the increased defensiveness felt by lower self-esteem persons when they perceived rejection was unwarranted. This research has important implications for how people approach their relationships and negotiate conflict. Replicating the original study, we will use a paper-and-pencil task to lead half of the experimental participants (1/4 of the total participants) to believe that their partner perceives a large number of faults in them (the other half of participants will not be led to believe this). All participants will then complete questionnaires regarding themselves, their partner, and their relationship.


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