Post-Grant Reports


Warm Fuzzies: Trait Affiliation and Relationship Success

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Personality and Social Contexts | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Psychology and Interaction


Affiliation, or the tendency to desire and engage in affiliative social bonding, seems crucial to the function of romantic relationships. Trait affiliation, however, has infrequently been investigated as an individual difference related to romantic relationship outcomes. Previous work demonstrated how trait affiliation can be theoretically understood and operationalized as a combination of the Compassion aspect of Agreeableness and the Enthusiasm aspect of Extraversion using a Big Five framework. More recently, we have developed a measure of trait affiliation to further elucidate the association between affiliation and relationship outcomes. Recruitment of participants for our research is ongoing (current N = 153), therefore analyses to test our hypotheses regarding affiliation and romantic relationships have not yet been conducted. In terms of initial analyses, the trait affiliation measure developed in our lab successfully measures affiliation as a blend of the traits of Enthusiasm and Compassion, which are aspects of the Big Five domains of Extraversion and Agreeableness, respectively. Higher scores in trait affiliation are associated with more and more varied social goals, as might be expected from those who have greater desire for social and emotional bonding.


This research was conducted as part of a Linfield College Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant in 2015, funded by the Office of Academic Affairs.

The student collaborator was Rhianna Mathisen-Jamrock.

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