Author: Dennett, Brittany
Singles people's well-being may depend partly on their relationship pedestal belief (RPB) – the belief that people must be in a relationship to be happy. Across three experimental studies (total N = 709 singles), I explored (1) whether it is possible to prime RPB, and (2) whether priming RPB impacts singles' outcomes. In Studies 1 and 2, the high RPB condition was associated with greater endorsement of RPB compared to the moderate RPB condition, which provided some evidence for reduced well-being and increased relationship desirability. Exploring indirect effects revealed the high RPB condition as compared to the moderate condition was associated with greater RPB, which undermined well-being and exacerbated relationship desirability outcomes. In Study 3, I added a low RPB condition, but there were no significant differences across any condition. Nonetheless, this research provides promising evidence that it is possible to reduce single peoples' RPB, which might maximize singles' well-being.
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Thesis advisor: Girme, Yuthika
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