There are components of self that recognize effective courses of action and there are components of self that enact behaviors. The objective of the research was to examine alignment between these different components of self.
The present research assessed degrees of alignment between these two components of self, in the romantic relationship domain, using scenarios involving the self and a hypothetical romantic partner, with alignment defined in terms of the extent to which self-likelihood ratings for different courses of action (what one “would do”) correlated with the person’s own effectiveness ratings (what one “should do”).
In Study 1 (n = 183), this dimension of ego effectiveness positively predicted partner support and negatively predicted partner aggression, whether reported on by selves or peers. In Study 2 (n = 212), both participants and partners reported greater satisfaction in their relationships with participants scoring higher in ego effectiveness.
The discussion focuses both on the assessment-related implications of the work and its relevance to understanding variations in relationship functioning.