Positive events play an essential role in people’s wellbeing. Capitalisation–disclosing such events to others–bolsters such salutary effects. To understand capitalisation-related motivational processes in romantic partners’ daily lives, we adopted Higgins’ motivational perspective; namely, that people’s primary motivation is to feel effective with respect to Value (achieving the desired outcome), Truth (understanding what is true), and Control (managing what happens). We were particularly interested in clarifying how these aspects of effectiveness are reflected in people’s daily positive experiences, their partners’ responses to their disclosure, and the matching between the two. The role of subject’s motivational regulatory mode (assessment vs. locomotion) in these processes was also examined. The results of a diary study of 83 couples showed that assessors (those with motivation to engage in critical evaluation) characterised their positive experiences as high on truth effectiveness but reported greater benefits from partner’s responses focusing on control effectiveness. Locomotors (those with motivation to initiate action) were more likely to characterise their positive experiences as high on control effectiveness, but reported greater benefit from partner’s responses focusing on value effectiveness. Finally, response mismatching, in particular an “under-focused” response (partner’s response effectiveness focus < recipient’s event-related motivational effectiveness focus) was rated as less beneficial.
- daily diary
- romantic partners
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)