Year of Publication

2012

Season of Publication

Summer

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)

Department

Psychology

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Leone

Second Advisor

Dr. Ashley Allen

Department Chair

Dr. Michael Toglia

College Dean

Dr. Barbara A. Hetrick

Abstract

A connection between self-monitoring, which is an individual difference in concern about self-presentation, and partner knowledge structures, which is how people organize thoughts about their current romantic partner, is explored in this study. There were two competing hypotheses. If people structure thoughts about their partner in a way similar to how they structure their social worlds, then low self-monitors would have integrated partner knowledge structures and high self-monitors would have compartmentalized partner knowledge structures. If people structure thoughts about their partner in a way that reflects their relationship motivations and needs then we would find the opposite pattern of results. We used a measure of compartmentalization and integration as well as Snyder’s (1974) Self-Monitoring Scale to explore our hypotheses. Although both low self-monitors and high self-monitors had relatively compartmentalized partner knowledge structures, we found support for the relationship motivations and needs hypothesis. Low self-monitors had more compartmentalized partner knowledge structures than did high self-monitors. In fact, low self-monitors were more likely than high self-monitors to have completely compartmentalized views of their partners. Reasons for these findings, limitations of this study, and future directions are discussed.

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