Generalizing disposability: Residential mobility and the willingness to dissolve social ties

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Abstract

Four studies examined whether residential mobility (RM) leads people to view objects as disposable and, in turn, view social ties as disposable. Study 1 showed that tendencies to dispose of objects and social ties are related. Study 2 demonstrated that a history of RM increases the willingness to dispose of objects and, through that, dispose of social ties. Study 3 showed that increasing the sense of RM increases the willingness to dispose of objects and, through this, dispose of social ties. Study 4 showed that the relational aspect of RM is crucial in affecting relational disposability. Our findings extend research on RM and support Lewin's (1936) conceptualization of mobility being associated with ease of disposing social ties.

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