Making it (inter-)personal: Self- and partner-moderated influence during marital conflict discussions

Minda M. Oriña, Jeff Simpson, William Ickes, Kelli Jean K. Asada, Stacy Fitzpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study examined how, in the context of marital relationships, influence agents attempt to change their partners' stated opinions, and how influence targets respond to their partners' requests. Guided by a dyadic model of social influence, we hypothesized that the level of perceived closeness of both the influence agent and the influence target should jointly determine the use of particular influence strategies. As predicted, individuals' use of relationship-referencing tactics in the interactions was contingent on both their own and their spouses' perceived closeness to the partner/relationship. Furthermore, greater social influence was achieved when at least one member of each couple emphasized the use of relationship-referencing tactics. These findings suggest that relationships are potent sources of influence for subjectively closer spouses, and they provide compelling evidence of the intrinsically dyadic nature of influence in close relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-66
Number of pages33
JournalSocial Influence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008


  • Influence strategies
  • Interpersonal interaction
  • Marital relationships
  • Social influence

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