The Psychology of Close Relationships: Fourteen Core Principles

Eli J. Finkel, Jeffry A. Simpson, Paul W. Eastwick

Research output: Research - peer-reviewReview article

  • 1 Citations

Abstract

Relationship science is a theory-rich discipline, but there have been no attempts to articulate the broader themes or principles that cut across the theories themselves. We have sought to fill that void by reviewing the psychological literature on close relationships, particularly romantic relationships, to extract its core principles. This review reveals 14 principles, which collectively address four central questions: (a) What is a relationship? (b) How do relationships operate? (c) What tendencies do people bring to their relationships? (d) How does the context affect relationships? The 14 principles paint a cohesive and unified picture of romantic relationships that reflects a strong and maturing discipline. However, the principles afford few of the sorts of conflicting predictions that can be especially helpful in fostering novel theory development. We conclude that relationship science is likely to benefit from simultaneous pushes toward both greater integration across theories (to reduce redundancy) and greater emphasis on the circumstances under which existing (or not-yet-developed) principles conflict with one another.

LanguageEnglish
Pages383-411
Number of pages29
JournalAnnual Review of Psychology
Volume68
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 3 2017

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Psychology
Foster Home Care
Paint
Conflict (Psychology)
Romantic Relationships
Psychological Literature
Development Theory
Redundancy
Reviewing
Cut
Voids
Prediction

Keywords

  • Attachment theory
  • Core principles
  • Culinary approach
  • Interdependence theory
  • Relationship science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

The Psychology of Close Relationships : Fourteen Core Principles. / Finkel, Eli J.; Simpson, Jeffry A.; Eastwick, Paul W.

In: Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 68, 03.01.2017, p. 383-411.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewReview article

Finkel, Eli J. ; Simpson, Jeffry A. ; Eastwick, Paul W./ The Psychology of Close Relationships : Fourteen Core Principles. In: Annual Review of Psychology. 2017 ; Vol. 68. pp. 383-411
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