Entries in control (5)


7 Ways to Use Science to Help Your Partner Meet His or Her Goals

Most advice on pursuing goals focuses on what you can do to achieve your own aims. But how can you help those you love to achieve their goals? Relationship partners play an important role in helping or hindering our progress toward our goals.1

Here are seven science-backed tips for helping your partner:

1. Encourage your partner

Research shows that encouragement from romantic partners to pursue goals in areas such as career, school, friendship, and fitness makes people more likely to actually achieve those goals.2

Click to read more ...


Does Watching TV Make You (or Your Partner) a Control Freak?

It’s no surprise that television shows have a lot of relationship conflict in them. Would you watch Grey’s Anatomy if every time someone had a problem with his or her partner they sat down and had a calm, serious discussion? Probably not. I don’t know about you, but I want to see some EMOTION! It is this need for drama that encourages writers and producers to give us shows full of relational conflict, but what does watching this high-conflict type of television do to our relationships?

Depending on the type of shows you watch and the types of conflicts under consideration (e.g., family conflict vs. romantic relationship conflict), there will be between 1.05 and 8.79 conflicts per hour of television.1,2 In addition, female characters are usually the ones who start the fights, place blame, and use mean tactics (e.g., patronizing comments, chastisement, and defensiveness) to try and get their way in conflicts. Right now, some of you may be thinking, so what? Conflict exists in all relationships, right?

Click to read more ...


Who's on Top? Power and Control In and Out of the Bedroom

Is control in the bedroom related to power in the relationship?

Power dynamics are a relatively common element of sexual fantasy.1 Some individuals enjoy being sexually dominant – they derive satisfaction from exerting power or control over their sexual partners. Others enjoy being sexually submissive – they are satisfied when their sexual partners exert power over them. But the reader poses an intriguing question: do a couple’s power dynamics within the bedroom mirror their power dynamics outside the bedroom?

Click to read more ...


Women: Take Control and Get a Date

Men often take a more active role than do women in initiating heterosexual relationships, and this difference may reflect a broader difference in how much control men and women feel they generally have in life. When women recall a recent past event they felt they had control over, they report increased intentions to initiate dates to a level that equals men’s typical relationship initiation intentions. Perceiving control is an equalizer when it comes to dating. 


MacGregor, J. C. D., & Cavallo, J. V. (2011). Breaking the rules: Personal control increases women’s direct relationship initiation. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 28, 848-867.


A Link Between Controlling Partners and Relationship Violence

Data from 600 young women reveals that most (68%) experienced a relationship partner's controlling behavior; approximately 10% experienced sexual or physical victimization while 25% were were prevented from seeing friends or were ignored by the partner. Women experiencing controlling behaviors were 2.5 times less likely to honestly report relationship violence.

Catallozzi, M., Simon, P. J., Davidson, L. L., Breitbart, V., & Rickert, V. I. (2011). Understanding control in adolescent and young adult relationships. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 165, 313-319.