The Expansion of the Investment Model: An Experiment to test the Influence of Dating Sites on Commitment in a Romantic Relationship.
Someren, M.D. van
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The total number of divorces and separations of non-married couples living together in the Netherlands is more than 100,000 per year. Although, people still commence a romantic relationship, this seems to end earlier than before and a high level of commitment seems harder to achieve. Therefore it seems important to investigate the different factors contributing to commitment (IMS), the possible expansion of this model by “quantity of alternatives”, and the possibility to influence commitment by means of dating sites advertisements. At last is investigated whether people with a high relationship satisfaction report a smaller influence-rate of media than people with an unhappy relationship. In the present study 537 participants (65.5% women, 34.5% men) took part, who were involved in a romantic relationship at the moment of examination. Three different conditions were created in the study, in which participants were exposed to a positive, negative or no dating site advertisement. The dependent variables concerned commitment, relationship satisfaction, quality of alternatives (IMS) and quantity of alternatives. This research shows there are different constructs in the original construct “quality of alternatives” by which the Investment Model could be possibly expanded. Furthermore people exposed to a negative dating site story report a lower score of quality of alternatives, compared to people exposed to a positive condition, but dating site advertisements have no influence on quantity of alternatives, commitment and relationship satisfaction. At the same time results show that people with an unhappy relationship show more fluctuation in relationship satisfaction level before and after a stimulus condition, than people with a happy relationship, and people show a higher amount of media (and dating sites advertisement) influence when this is indirectly measured. At last further research needs to be done, paying keen attention to indirect measurement of media influence and paying attention by which means quantity and quality of alternatives is best influenced, so the Investment Model could be expanded be these.