Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Lorne Campbell

Second Advisor

Dr. Bertram Gawronski


Three studies guided by the Ideal Standards Model (ISM; J. A. Simpson, G. J. O. Fletcher, & L. Campbell, 2001) and attribution theory investigated how discrepancies between partner ideals and partner perceptions relate to how negative behaviors are explained in close relationships. Results from 193 participants split across 2 correlational studies (Studies 1A and 1B) revealed that across partner committed and self committed behaviors, larger ideal discrepancies were associated with a consistent pattern of agreement in how negative relationship events were explained. Discrepancies on the warmth/trustworthiness ideal dimension were related to expectations for negative behavior commission and explanation based on negative partner and self assessments on interactional traits, whereas attractiveness/vitality discrepancies were associated with negative relationship events being interpreted as communicative and regulatory in nature. Study 2 attempted to extend these findings by manipulating ideal discrepancies in an experiment. The relevance of these results for future research aiming to extend the ISM is discussed.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.