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The role of moral commitment within the Investment Model

Authors

  • David Rodrigues,

    Corresponding author
    1. Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Centro de Investigação e Intervenção Social (CIS-IUL), Lisboa, Portugal
    2. Institut de Psychologie, Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale: Menaces et Société (EA 4471), Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France
    • Correspondence should be addressed to David Rodrigues, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), CIS-IUL, Av. das Forças Armadas, 1649–026 Lisboa, Portugal. (E-mail: dflrs@iscte.pt)

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  • Diniz Lopes

    1. Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Centro de Investigação e Intervenção Social (CIS-IUL), Lisboa, Portugal
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  • This research was funded by the grant SFRH/BPD/73528/2010, awarded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia to the first author. We would like to thank the reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions.

Abstract

The Investment Model (Rusbult, 1980) defines general commitment as a long-term orientation towards relationship maintenance and feelings of psychological attachment, influenced by satisfaction, quality of alternatives and intrinsic/extrinsic investments. We suggest the importance of additionally assessing moral commitment, defined by an intrapersonal predisposition to remain in the relationship (Johnson, 1991). We argue moral commitment's association to perceived intrinsic investments acting as internal barriers influencing general commitment and promoting relationship maintenance. A correlational study resorting to structural equation modelling showed that moral commitment predicted intrinsic investments, which in turn predicted general commitment (Model 1). No direct paths emerged from moral commitment to satisfaction or quality of alternatives (Model 2), nor it emerged as a fourth direct predictor of general commitment (Model 3). Results are discussed under relationships maintenance and dissolution frameworks.

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