Defining Close Relationships The formation and maintenance of close relationships are likely manifestations of the fundamental human need for belonging and connection (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; see also Andersen, Reznik, & Chen, 1997). We define close relationships in terms of the self in relation to significant others, and assume that each relationship with a significant other is mentally represented in this form. Specifically, the cognitive structure of each relationship is comprised of knowledge about the relevant significant other and self-knowledge reflecting who one is in the context of one’s relationship with the other. Such self-and significant-other knowledge structures are bound in memory by linkages that embody the typical patterns of self-other interaction. Although each relationship is unique in some manner (e.g., Hinkley & Andersen, 1996), we recognize that generalized relationship structures exist alongside relationship-specific ones (e.g., Klohnen, Weller, Luo, & Choe, 2005; Ogilvie & Ashmore, 1991; Pierce & Lydon, 2001). Numerous approaches to close relationships assume that significant-other representations are distinct in memory from self representations, and yet also assume, as we do, that these representations are linked in memory. Evidence supports both of these assumptions, even though exact models of representation may vary (e.g., Andersen & Chen, 2002; Aron, Aron, Tudor, & Nelson, 1991; Baldwin, 1992).
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Social Psychology and the Unconscious|
|Subtitle of host publication||The Automaticity of Higher Mental Processes|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||40|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2013|
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