Brown bag talk by Dr. Kenneth Tan on “Exploring Commitment Processes in Close Relationships”




Speaker: Dr. Kenneth Tan

Date: Friday 13 October at 1pm

Venue: AS4/02-08 (Psychology Department Meeting Room) 

Title: Exploring Commitment Processes in Close Relationships

Abstract: As structured forms of commitment change, psychological commitment to any given relationship becomes important in predicting success and stability in close relationships. The present talk explores psychological commitment from two angles – how commitment can be changed in close relationships as well as how receptive are individuals to commitment. First, we examine how perceptions of future plans affect commitment, and find that ease of retrieval of future plans can indeed increase commitment, but this is moderated by need for cognition. Next, we examine how personal timing affects receptivity towards commitment, where at any given time, an individual knows whether they desire a committed relationship. Results show that when individuals seek commitment, they also ensure that their partners are equally committed, with positive consequences for relationship maintenance behaviors and cognitions. Implications and future directions are discussed. 

Biography: Dr. Kenneth Tan is a lecturer of psychology under the MOE START Programme at Singapore Management University. He received his BA as well as Masters in Psychology from the National University of Singapore and his PhD from Purdue University. His primary research goals are in understanding key determinants of commitment and how commitment influences relationship maintenance, dissolution processes and ultimately, relationship stability. These projects involve a variety of methods ranging from experiments to longitudinal or daily diary designs that involve both members of the couple.

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