Are implicit motives the need to feel certain affect? Motive-affect congruence predicts relationship satisfaction

Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2012 Dec;38(12):1552-65. doi: 10.1177/0146167212454920. Epub 2012 Aug 1.


The authors test the assumption that the core of implicit motives is the desire for particular affective experiences and that motive satisfaction need not be tied to any particular domain. Using the context of romantic relationships, cross-sectional Study 1 and experimental Study 2 showed that people with a high affiliation motive were more satisfied when they experienced more affiliation-specific affect (calmness and relaxation). However, people with a higher power motive were more satisfied in their relationships when they experienced more power-specific affect (strength and excitement) in these relationships. The results support the idea that an implicit motive involves the desire for specific affective experiences and that frequent experiences of one's preferred affect can lead to enhanced satisfaction and well-being in a domain, even one that is not typically associated with that motive.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Personality
  • Psychological Theory
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Efficacy
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult