Self processes in interdependent relationships

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This essay reviews theory and research regarding the &#8220;Michelangelo phenomenon,&#8221; which describes the manner in which close partners shape one another&#8217;s dispositions, values, and behavioral tendencies. Individuals are more likely to exhibit movement toward their ideal selves to the degree that their partners exhibit affirming perception and behavior; exhibiting confidence in the self&#8217;s capacity and enacting behaviors that elicit key features of the self&#8217;s ideal. In turn, movement towards the ideal self yields enhanced personal well-being <i>and</i> couple well-being. We review empirical evidence regarding this phenomenon and discuss self and partner variables that contribute to the process.


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