Missing a romantic partner: A prototype analysis

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In this study, a prototype analysis of romantic missing was conducted. College-age participants in the United States generated features of missing a partner (Study 1) and rated their centrality (Study 2). In a reaction time task, participants made category judgments for central features more quickly than for noncentral features (Study 3). In recognition and recall tasks, central features were more salient in participants' memory, and participants evaluated individuals experiencing central features in vignettes as missing their partners more (Study 4). A prototype-based measure of missing administered to individuals in long-distance relationships (Study 5) correlated with commitment and attachment dimensions but only weakly with loneliness. Finally, level of missing differed based on whether individuals were in a geographically distant (vs. proximal) relationships (Study 6).

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