Shannon M. Smith and Harry T. Reis, Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester.
Perceived responses to capitalization attempts are influenced by self-esteem and relationship threat
Article first published online: 2 JUN 2011
Copyright © 2011 IARR
Volume 19, Issue 2, pages 367–385, June 2012
How to Cite
SMITH, S. M. and REIS, H. T. (2012), Perceived responses to capitalization attempts are influenced by self-esteem and relationship threat. Personal Relationships, 19: 367–385. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2011.01367.x
Study 1 was supported by Time-Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (http://tess.experimentcentral.org/). Special thanks to Cheryl Carmichael, Peter Caprariello, Fen-Fang Tsai, and Michael Maniaci for their invaluable help with this research. In addition, we gratefully acknowledge the reviewers who provided excellent feedback on prior versions of this article.
- Issue published online: 23 MAY 2012
- Article first published online: 2 JUN 2011
Discussing good news builds strength in relationships. In particular, perceiving a close other as enthusiastic about good fortune can help individuals maintain relational strength when relationship security is threatened. In an experiment and a daily diary study, how self-esteem moderates perceptions of a partner's response to these capitalization attempts following relationship threats were examined. After having been primed with relationship threat (Study 1) or on days following relationship conflict (Study 2), low-self-esteem persons perceived less partner enthusiasm about their good news, but high-self-esteem persons perceived more partner enthusiasm. Self-esteem had no effect after a neutral prime or no-conflict days. These results indicate that capitalization as a strategy for repairing relationships may depend on the partners' self-esteem.