• The Rebound Effect: The Use of Short-term Mating Strategies after the Dissolution of a Significant, Loving Relationship

      Pierce, Sarah L. (2013-01-31)
      Previous studies have defined rebound relationships according to retrospective accounts based on the length of engagement, time elapsed since previous relationship, or simply denied their existence in total. The goal of this study is to better understand the concept of the rebound relationship and to determine how pursuing a rebound relationship differs from other types of romantic engagements. The current study poses that rebound relationships reflect a change in mating strategy which is evident in a temporary shift in the characteristics of the pursued mate and the benefits gained. The current paper hypothesized that rebound relationships are intentionally short-lived relationships, with a unique set of pursued partner qualities and benefits. It was further hypothesized that rebounds reflect a change in mating strategy which is evident in a temporary shift in the characteristics of the pursued mate. This change in mating strategy was expected to be associated with a change in cognitive processing and an increase in mating effort while maintaining long-term partner preferences. Participants were psychology students from a mid-sized Midwestern university and participated in either a survey style study or an experimental study based on relationship status. Results from the survey indicate that rebound relationships are a unique pattern of partnering according to participants’ responses, both intentionally short-term in length and based on partner characteristics more indicative of short-term mating. But results from the experiment failed to indentify the anticipated shift in mating strategy or uncover the expected patterns in cognitive processing or mating effort.