Automatic processing in intimate contexts: the role of close-relationship beliefs

G. J. O. Fletcher, Janette Rosanowski, Julie Fitness

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    33 Citations (Scopus)


    This research examined whether strongly held beliefs in the importance of either intimacy or passion in producing success in close relationships would facilitate the automatic processing of information in specific close relationships. As predicted, when deciding whether belief-relevant relationship adjectives described their intimate relationships, Ss with strong beliefs made decisions about as fast under concurrent memory-load conditions (memorizing digits) as when no memory load was present. In contrast, weak-belief subjects were considerably slower in the memory-load condition than in the no-load condition. In addition, these results remained reliable when a variety of other variables were controlled for, including the decision latencies of Ss when judging belief-irrelevant relationship descriptors, relationship quality, digit-recall performance, and the percentage of yes responses. Results are discussed in relation to the nature and function of automatic processing in close relationship contexts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)888-897
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 1994


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