Executive control and relationship maintenance processes: An empirical overview and theoretical integration

J.C. Karremans, Tila Pronk, R.C. van der Wal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Why do romantic partners sometimes act in ways that potentially threaten relationship satisfaction and stability, even when strongly committed to the relationship? This article discusses research that has addressed this question by examining the role of executive control. We argue that executive control plays a particularly important role in relationship functioning when partners are faced with dilemmas between acting on self-interest and acting on partner or relationship interest. We review the key findings in this domain, demonstrating that individual differences in executive control are positively associated with sacrifice, forgiveness, and the ability to resist the temptation of attractive alternatives. We conclude with proposing a theoretical model that integrates the role of motivation and capacity factors in promoting pro-relationship responses and discuss promising areas for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333–347
JournalSocial and Personality Psychology Compass
Volume9
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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