Why Do I Love Thee?: Effects of Repeated Introspections about a Dating Relationship on Attitudes toward the Relationship

posted on Dec 04, 2015

Students involved in dating relationships attended four weekly sessions, at which they either introspected about why they felt the way they did about their relationship or introspected about an unrelated topic. As predicted, at Week I people who introspected about reasons brought to mind thoughts that were inconsistent with their initial feelings about their relationships and changed their attitudes in the direction of those reasons. This attitude change persisted throughout the study but did not increase. People in the control condition showed an increasing amount of attitude change at each session, such that by the end of the study they had changed as much as people in the reasons condition. It is suggested that either thinking about reasons or answering detailed questions about a relationship can change the way people construe that relationship, leading to attitude change.