Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Lome Campbell


Prior research has demonstrated that when individuals think about their romantic partner, they experience specific physiological responses (e.g., cortisol reactivity). Guided by these findings, the present study explored the potential physiological and behavioral benefits associated with partner reflection; specifically, the idea that individuals would be physically energized by partner reflection, and that this energy would allow them to persevere when presented with a complex task. Results revealed that participants who thought about their romantic partner exhibited both short-term and long-term increases in blood glucose, relative to those who thought about their morning routine or a friend. These increases in glucose were also uniquely associated with positive affect for those who reflected on their romantic partner in particular. Moreover, partner reflection in particular seemed to buffer glucose levels against a difficult task designed to deplete self- regulatory resources, and yielded trends for enhanced performance on a subsequent task



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