The Pursuit of Knowledge in Close Relationships: An Informational Goals Analysis
Shak:espeare's claim that "love is blind" is now a cultural tmism, and this belief may weil have abounded in his day. Although we hesitate to dispute Shak:espeare, we are intrigued by how romantic partners sometimes exhibit remarkable sensitivity to negative as weil as positive behaviors and emotions that occur in the context of their relationships. Moreover, starry-eyed as partners can be, romantic attraction is frequently associated with intensive information-seeking efforts and vigilance: Uncertainties about aspects of their partners and their relationships often seem to prompt people to undertak:e a variety of overt, surreptitious, and even underhanded actions. In this chapter, we examine the direct and indirect strategies individuals might adopt to obtain answers to their questions, and discuss the implications of their informational search for their self-evaluations and feelings about their relationships. W e consider how individuals' concerns are likely to change as their relationships progress, and analyze factors that influence people's vigilance for information about their partners and themselves. We conclude that lovers may be blind, but not always in the traditional sense of being motivated to ignore each other's faults and construct utopian views of their relationships.