Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Program Name/Specialization

Social Psychology


Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Justin V. Cavallo

Advisor Role



While spending time together is an important interpersonal goal for most romantic couples, “spicing things up” through participation in novel activities is a route commonly recommended and used in order to enhance relationship quality. However, relationship research has yet to focus on whether some people may have a greater proclivity toward pursuing these types of activities than others. The present research examines whether people’s motivational states – specifically, their regulatory focus orientation – may influence their desire to pursue novel activities with their romantic partners. In Study 1, participants (N = 110) indicated their regulatory focus, relationship quality, and willingness to try 32 novel activities with their partners. In Studies 2 and 3, we experimentally manipulated participants’ regulatory focus (Study 2; N = 203) and relationship quality (Study 3; N = 198) and asked them to indicate their willingness to try 5 highly novel activities with their partners. Results revealed that promotion-focused individuals were more inclined to pursue novel activities with a partner when their relationship quality was high, but not low. These results indicate a meaningful bridge between close relationships and motivation research.

Keywords: close relationships, regulatory focus, self-expansion

Convocation Year


Convocation Season