Relationships, human behavior, and psychological science

Harry T. Reis, W. Andrew Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Extensive evidence attests to the importance of relationships for human well-being, and evolutionary theorizing has increasingly recognized the adaptive significance of relationships. Psychological science, however, has barely begun to consider how relationships influence a broad array of basic social, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral processes. This article discusses contemporary theory and research about the impact of relationship contexts, citing examples from research on social cognition, emotion, and human development. We propose that the validity and usefulness of psychological science will be enhanced by better integration of relationship contexts into theories and research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-237
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Development
  • Emotion
  • Relationship
  • Social cognition


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