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Study of Everyday Communication in Committed Romantic Relationships

1. Sex

3. How long have you been in your committed cohabitating relationship? (Note, duration must be a minimum of two years in order to participate in this study.)
   

 

 

Now you will read 15 examples of behaviors from actual committed romantic relationships.  These examples are written in the relationship partner’s  “own words” and come from testimonials about relationship communication.  Following each example you will be asked to rate a series of descriptions of the behavior described in the example.  Please answer with your first impression of how well each description fits each example. 

 

1.  "We have a private code that we use.  Only the two of us know what SHMILY means."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

2.  "She came up with the idea of bringing my lunch to work instead of going out for lunch every day to save money."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

3.  "During an argument, I got extremely frustrated with my partner and grabbed a pillow from the bed and smacked him across the back with it. This action lead to a pillow fight which allowed us to release our built up tension and then discuss our disagreement in a more lighthearted mood."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

4.  "My boyfriend made a comment that I needed to decide if I was content. He is fine with the way things are going, so basically the ball is in my court if I am unsatisfied."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

5.  "'Fishin’ partners!' That is what we say to each other when a choice has been made and we are agreeing as a team." 

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

6.  "We have agreed that his debts have to become our debts (since we are planning to get married soon) and that we will work together to pay them off as soon as possible."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

7.  "We get things out in the open, discuss it and it’s over—and we almost never raise our voices."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

8.  "When I was having problems with a friend of mine and was explaining the situation, my fiancé’s reply was, 'Don’t worry, it’ll be okay.'"

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

9.  "On a long road trip, we happened to be listening to oldies stations (especially Motown) most of the way—my husband grew up in Detroit. After the 50th song by the Supremes and one song in particular that seemed to play over and over again—we realized the backup singer phrases could be used interchangeably (they were all in the same key—and there was not much difference in the musical phrases being sung OOOOOOOOO). After a while every time a Diana Ross and the Supremes song came on WE would sing the same back up (badly out of tune) and crack up. Now whenever we hear the Supremes or that particular song, we immediately go into backup singer mode."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

10.   "One time I hugged my partner even though he was mad at me. He could not stay upset with me if I was able to put my feelings/pride aside to make things better."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

11.  "Occasionally, my partner will get me a gift that she thinks is unusual or wacky, and I do not. The gift giving might be related to a holiday or not, so, in a sense, it might still be a surprise, but the gift itself might be less inspired than I would expect from her."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

12.  "My husband and I disagreed about having guns in the house, but we went over and over it and I also got pressured from my brother about how safe they are when they are all locked in a cabinet. I gave in."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

13.  "When I first brought my partner to my new office she hid suggestive and affectionate post it notes in varied recesses of the office, some I still haven’t found."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

14.  "When we are arguing or tense with each other he will look at me with a pout, cock his head, and show his dimples because he knows that it will break some (maybe not all) tension. This is his way of 'acting cute.'"

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

15. "She will joke about my belly, even though I don’t have a big belly."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.