The Causal Effects of Emotion on Couples' Cognition and Behavior

Ty Tashiro, Patricia Frazier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The authors conducted 2 translational studies that assessed the causal effects of emotion on maladaptive cognitions and behaviors in couples. Specifically, the authors examined whether negative emotions increased and positive emotions decreased partner attributions and demand-withdraw behaviors. Study 1 (N = 164) used video clips to assess the effects of emotion on individuals' attributions. Study 2 (N = 47 couples) was a therapy analogue study intended to assess whether emotion generated from couples' conversations would influence subsequent attributions and behaviors. Results indicate that participants in the negative emotion conditions tended to attribute more blame to their partners and were more likely to engage in demand-withdraw patterns and other negative behaviors than were those in the positive emotion conditions. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-422
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of counseling psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • affect
  • attributions
  • couples' therapy
  • social cognition
  • translational research


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