Measuring context-specific interpersonal motivation within couple interactions.
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Nichols, Natalie B., 1987-
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Three studies were conducted in the development of a context-specific relationship based measure of interpersonal motivation. Study 1 used qualitative data analysis to identify naturally occurring types of interpersonal motivation that people experience in positive and negative emotional interactions with their partners. Study 2 used an exploratory procedure, including exploratory factor analysis, to clarify the number and types of motivation as well as the best items to include on the questionnaire. In Study 3, the factor validity of the questionnaire was tested using confirmatory factor analysis, and the convergent validity of the questionnaire was tested by using a series of regression analyses. Four types of interpersonal motivation that partners experience in emotional interactions with their partners were identified: Moving Toward, Moving Away, Status, and Desire for Investment. Each of these types of motivation had a distinct pattern of regression results in the context of positive emotional interactions and negative emotional interactions, suggesting that motivation experienced during a positive emotional interaction is distinct from the same type of motivation experienced during a negative emotional interaction. This suggests that these types of motivation are highly event-dependent.