This essay reviews theory and research regarding the “Michelangelo phenomenon,” which describes the manner in which close partners shape one another’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’s capacity and enacting behaviors that elicit key features of the self’s ideal. In turn, movement towards the ideal self yields enhanced personal well-being and couple well-being. We review empirical evidence regarding this phenomenon and discuss self and partner variables that contribute to the process.
Bühler, Janina Larissa, Catrin Finkenauer & Alexander Grob
2020. A dyadic personality perspective on the Michelangelo phenomenon: How personality traits relate to people’s ideal selves and their personal growth in romantic relationships. Journal of Research in Personality 86 ► pp. 103943 ff.
Bühler, Janina Larissa, Rebekka Weidmann, Madoka Kumashiro & Alexander Grob
2019. Does Michelangelo care about age? An adult life-span perspective on the Michelangelo phenomenon. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 36:4 ► pp. 1392 ff.
Carbonneau, Noémie, Tamas Martos, Viola Sallay, Samuel Rochette & Richard Koestner
2019. Examining the associations of autonomy and directive support given and received with relationship satisfaction in the context of goals that romantic partners have for one another. Motivation and Emotion 43:6 ► pp. 874 ff.
DiDonato, Theresa E.
2020. Self-authenticity and the Michelangelo Phenomenon. In Interpersonal Relationships and the Self-Concept, ► pp. 105 ff.
Feeney, Brooke C. & Nancy L. Collins
2015. A New Look at Social Support. Personality and Social Psychology Review 19:2 ► pp. 113 ff.
IFTODE, Cristian, Alexandra ZORILĂ, Constantin VICĂ & Emilian MIHAILOV
2022. Experimental and relational authenticity: how neurotechnologies impact narrative identities. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
Lamarche, Veronica M
2022. Interdependent transformations: Integrating insights from relationship science to advance post-traumatic growth and personality change research. European Journal of Personality 36:4 ► pp. 640 ff.
2011. Compassionate love: accomplishments and challenges in an emerging scientific/spiritual research field. Mental Health, Religion & Culture 14:9 ► pp. 945 ff.
Thomsen, Tamara, Cathleen Kappes, Laura Schwerdt, Johanna Sander & Charlotte Poller
2017. Modelling goal adjustment in social relationships: Two experimental studies with children and adults. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 35:2 ► pp. 267 ff.
2012. Self-Improvement as a Response to Interpersonal Regulation in Close Relationships: The Role of Attachment Styles. The Journal of Social Psychology 152:6 ► pp. 697 ff.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 23 may 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers.
Any errors therein should be reported to them.