Can Affectionate Touch Increase Intrinsic and Altruistic Motivation to Sacrifice in Romantic Relationships?

2019-02-28T19:44:55Z (GMT) by Delancey Wu
Willingness to make sacrifices within a romantic relationship can indicate the well-being and stability of that relationship. Why people make these sacrifices are fueled by different types of motivations, such as whether they truly enjoy taking care of their partner (intrinsic and altruistic motivations) or whether they feel pressured or obligated to make a sacrifice (extrinsic motivation). The hypotheses were that those who received affectionate touch would be more willing to sacrifice and have a higher intrinsic and altruistic motivation to do so than those who do not receive touch. Affectionate touch also was predicted to promote willingness to sacrifice by making one’s relationship more salient and thus leading one to be more focused on their partner’s needs. Inconsistent with expectations, receiving no touch led to more altruistic motivation than receiving touch. Although touch did not influence participants' relationship salience, the higher a participant's relationship salience was, the more altruistic their motives were.In addition, motivations for sacrifice predicted willingness to sacrifice in expected ways. While our hypotheses were not supported in terms of touch, we discuss possible explanations and the implications of other results.