Past research by UC Riverside psychologist Megan Robbins has emphasized the power of first-person personal pronouns such as "we" and "us" in relationships. "We-talk" is an indicator of interdependence, meaning partners affect one another's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This is a shift from self-oriented to relationship-oriented.
New research by her lab has greatly magnified the body of evidence asserting that the pronouns we use foretell good relationship outcomes. Robbins and her team reviewed and analyzed 30 studies of nearly 5,300 participants to assert that couples who often say "we" and "us" have more successful relationships and are healthier and happier.
Studies - Picture - We-talk - Indicator - Interdependence
"By examining all these studies together, they let us see the bigger picture. We-talk is an indicator of interdependence and general positivity in romantic relationships," said Alexander Karan, a graduate student in Robbins' lab and lead author of a related paper recently published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.
Interdependence is tied to relationship-healthy behaviors, such as being supportive in stressful times. "Interdependence Theory," first introduced in the 1950s, holds that interdependent romantic partners are more inclusive in how they both think, feel, behave, and rely on each other for support over time.
Study - Participants - Half - Robbins - Team
For the study participants -- about half of whom were married -- Robbins' team looked at five measures: relationship outcomes (satisfaction, length of union); relationship behaviors (positive vs. negative interactions...
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