A question fundamental to the study of interpersonal communication in dose relationships is how the characteristics people associate with their relationships are evident in their conversation. We begin by explicating 3 key aspects of relationship conceptualizations: reliance on relational knowledge, interdependence, and mutual commitment. Then we advance hypotheses linking those relationship conceptualizations with features of people's content and relational messages. We report the results of a study in which 120 dating couples engaged in videotaped conversations. Findings offered modest support for our predictions regarding reliance on relational knowledge; results were less consistent with our hypotheses involving interdependence and mutual commitment. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for understanding how perceptions of relationships are apparent in conversation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language