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Relational discrepancies and emotion: The moderating roles of relationship type and relational discrepancy valence


Jennifer M. Boldero, School of Behavioural Science, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic. 3010, Australia. Email:


Relational discrepancy theory proposes that discrepancies in the extents to which relational partners meet relational standards are associated with emotions and that perceiving relationships in specified ways moderates associations. In a range of relationships, ideal relational discrepancies were associated with dejection and ought relational discrepancies with agitation (Study 1), associations moderated by relationship type. Discrepancy valence also moderated ideal discrepancy associations. Similar associations were found in friendships, moderated by relationship type (Study 2). Finally, relationship type and valence moderated associations in relationships with supervisors but not with colleagues (Study 3). These results support relational discrepancy theory propositions.