In the Game of Love, Play by the Rules: Implications of Relationship Rule Consensus over Honesty and Deception in Romantic Relationships
Year of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Department or School/College
Department of Communication Studies
Luke Conway, Stephen Yoshimura
conflict, deception, disclosure, interpersonal perception, interpersonal relationships, relationship rules
University of Montana
The purpose of this study is to investigate the implications of relationship rule consensus over the meanings of honesty and deception in romantic relationships. Relationship rules are implicit understandings developed over time that guide individuals’ behavior in relationships, but they are often ambiguous and unspoken. Honesty and deception rules are particularly vulnerable to different interpretations given that honesty is held to such high esteem, yet deception is common in relationships. Since deception becomes a salient source of conflict when discovered, coordination of these rules should be linked to relational quality. In part one of the study, in-depth interviews helped identify what rules individuals supported in their relationships, which were incorporated into a survey taken by couples in part two. The survey assessed direct and meta-perspectives on the rules, as well as conflict and satisfaction. The results supported many of the findings from previous interpersonal perception studies: couples perceived agreement more than they agreed on the rules, and they agreed to a greater extent than they understood one another’s perspectives. Additionally, perceived agreement, agreement, and understanding were all linked to relational quality (i.e., higher satisfaction and lower conflict). A unique finding was that when rules were categorized as either rigid (absolute) or flexible (contingent), the rigid rules were both endorsed more in relationships and linked to conflict to a greater extent than the flexible rules.
Roggensack, Katlyn Elise, "In the Game of Love, Play by the Rules: Implications of Relationship Rule Consensus over Honesty and Deception in Romantic Relationships" (2011). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 562.
© Copyright 2011 Katlyn Elise Roggensack