Negotiating challenges in relationships
Bates, Christin Elizabeth
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This project examines the effects of planning condition, plan flexibility, planning persistence, task type, and perceived empathic accuracy on resolution of conflictual discussions between intimates. Eighty-two romantically-linked “dating” couples from a southeastern university participated in two conflictual discussion tasks, one discussion specifically concerned a relational issue, while the other was a non-relational problem-solving discussion. As predicted, individuals were more likely to resolve the non-relational conflict discussion, further, the predicted association between empathic accuracy and conflict resolution was observed. Surprisingly, plan flexibility did not differ according to task type and was not a significant predictor of planning persistence. Also, counter to predictions, the opportunity to explicitly plan for an interaction did not influence conflict resolution or one’s perceived empathic accuracy. Finally, perceived empathic accuracy scores did not differ according to task type. Implications for message production and interpersonal conflict research are discussed.