The prosocial vs. proself power holder: How power influences sacrifice in romantic relationships

F. Righetti, L. Luchies, S. Van Gils, E. Slotter, B. Witcher, M. Kumashiro

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    Romantic partners often have to sacrifice their interests to benefit their partner or to maintain the relationship. In the present work, we investigated whether relative power within the relationship plays an important role in determining the extent to which partners are likely to sacrifice. Drawing from both classic theories and recent research on power, we tested two competing predictions on the relationship between power and sacrifice in romantic relationships. We tested whether (a) power is negatively related to sacrifice and (b) power is positively related to sacrifice. Furthermore, we also explored whether the association between power and sacrifice is moderated by commitment and inclusion of the other in the self. To test our hypotheses, we used different methodologies, including questionnaires, diary studies, and videotaped interactions. Results across the five studies (N = 1,088) consistently supported the hypothesis that power is negatively related to tendencies to sacrifice in close relationships.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)779-790
    Number of pages12
    JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
    Issue number6
    Early online date25 Mar 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


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