The Power of Photographs: Effects of Relationship Awareness on Relationship Outcomes



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The present study attempts to provide an experimental manipulation of relationship awareness incorporating methods and theory from self-awareness research. Participants completed a series of baseline measures, and then their levels of relationship awareness and self-awareness were manipulated by exposing them to photographs of themselves with their partners (relationship awareness condition), photographs of just themselves (self-awareness condition), or still-life photographs (control condition). Results suggest that the manipulation of relationship awareness was successful, but only for those in shorter relationships, while the manipulation of self-awareness was unsuccessful. Results were also conceptualized in terms of implicit and explicit relationship awareness, with implicit relationship awareness more common in older individuals and explicit relationship awareness more common in younger individuals, supporting past work. Results are discussed in terms of explicit and implicit relationship awareness and their patterns across the lifespan.



Relationship awareness, Self-awareness, Implicit relationship awareness, Explicit relationship awareness, Photographs