Imagining partner loss and mortality salience: Consequences for romantic-relationship satisfaction

Eric D. Miller1
1Kent State University, United States
Cite this article:  Miller, E. D. (2003). Imagining partner loss and mortality salience: Consequences for romantic-relationship satisfaction. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 31, 167-180.

Volume 31 Issue 2 | e1235 | Published: March 2003 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2003.31.2.167

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As hypothesized, imagining the death of one's romantic partner (for those currently involved in a romantic relationship for at least one continuous year) enhanced relationship satisfaction; unexpectedly, imagining one's own death did not markedly affect relationship satisfaction (Experiment 1). Experiment 2 found that imagining the death of one's partner has an impact similar to imagining a positive experience with one's partner regarding relationship satisfaction. Furthermore, imagining the death of one's romantic partner causes the individual to favorably change his/her perceptions of certain personality characteristics of the partner. Experiment 3 examined the interactive effects that certain personality traits had on imagining either the death of oneself or of one's romantic partner with respect to self-reported relationship satisfaction. The applied and theoretical implications of this research are extensively discussed.
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