Judgments of relationship satisfaction: Inter- and intraindividual comparisons as a function of questionnaire structure



Two experiments demonstrate that individuals use an interindividual comparison strategy to evaluate a specific life-domain if their attention is drawn to only one aspect of that domain, that has either positive or negative evaluative implications. If their attention is drawn to two aspects with opposite implications, however, an intraindividual strategy, based on the comparison of both aspects, is preferred. Whether one or two aspects bearing on a specific domain are salient is, among other conditions, a function of the number of aspects assessed in a questionnaire. Theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.