Balancing Opinions: The Effects on an Individual's Romantic Relationship When Third Parties' Opinions Collide
Wright, Brittany Lauren
AdvisorSinclair, H. Colleen
CommitteeGiesen, J. Martin
Jacquin, Kristine M.
Previous researchers have established that social networks can influence an individual’s romantic relationship. Two studies examined whether one third party’s opinion was more influential than another when multiple parties’ opinions conflict or concur. The first study was a 2 (Parent Opinion: approval, disapproval) x 2 (Friend Opinion: approval, disapproval) between-subjects factorial design experimental survey which examined how third party opinions influenced an individual’s current romantic relationship state. Analyses revealed that both friend and parent opinion had significant effects on an individual’s romantic relationship. The second study incorporated a virtual dating game in which participants received feedback about one of their interaction partners. The study employed a 2 (Parent Opinion: good match, bad match) x 2 (Friend Opinion: good match, bad match) x 2 (Interaction Partner: Target, Control – within-subjects) mixed factorial design. Friend opinion emerged as playing an important role in individuals’ perceptions and choices of a potential romantic partner.