Benjamin W. Hadden received a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Houston, with a focus on interpersonal relationships. In particular, his research investigates the interplay between the self and relationships, focusing on how aspects of individuals influence their own and their romantic partners’ relational and personal outcomes. His research has focused on topics such as motivation, attachment, and subjective feelings of readiness, and how these relate to relationship cognitions, maintenance behaviors, and stability. His work often utilizes couples designs, daily and event-contingent diaries, in-lab observation, and longitudinal approaches to test how characteristics of romantic partners influence relationship development.
Areas of Expertise (5)
Relationship Transitions, Self-concept, and Health
Romantic Relationship Receptivity and Readiness
Social and Personality Psychology
Motivation in Romantic Relationship Development
Insecurities and Relationship Quality
University of Houston: Ph.D. 2016
University of Houston: M.A. 2013
University of Delaware: B.A. 2010
Selected Media Appearances (3)
Commitment Readiness May Be Key to Relationship Success
Psych Central online
For the investigation, Agnew and colleagues Dr. Benjamin Hadden and graduate student Ken Tan reviewed the results from four studies and five independent samples focusing on reported readiness and commitment to an ongoing relationship. [...]
Tick tock: Commitment readiness predicts relationship success
Science Daily online
Agnew and colleagues Benjamin Hadden and Ken Tan report the results from four studies and five independent samples, focusing on reported readiness and commitment to an ongoing relationship, how much people were willing to be involved in the day to day behaviors that help maintain a relationship, and the ultimate stability of those relationships. [...]
Timing Matters When It Comes to Relationship Success
Psychology Today online
According to Purdue University’s Benjamin Hadden and colleagues, “despite the seeming ubiquity of advice surrounding readiness in popular culture, the scientific literature on the role of commitment readiness is near nonexistent." Still, proposing that timing may be everything when it comes to relationship commitment, the authors put their “Relationship Receptivity Theory (RRT)” to the test. Feeling unready doesn’t mean being afraid of emotional intimacy or even of being single, they argue. They maintain that people may feel ready for a relationship “while being perfectly at peace with remaining single” until they find the right person.
Selected Articles (5)
Benjamin W Hadden et al.
The present research examined how actor and partner attachment insecurity relates to biases in perceptions of partners’ core relationship-relevant constructs. Across three dyadic studies (Ncouples = 333, Nindividuals = 666), we examined attachment anxiety and avoidance as predictors of over- or underestimation of partners’ relationship satisfaction, commitment, and responsiveness, using partners’ own reports as the reference point for evaluating bias. Actors higher in avoidance and actors with partners higher in avoidance perceived their partners to be less satisfied and committed. In addition, actors higher in avoidance and actors higher in anxiety displayed a pessimistic bias, perceiving their partners to be less satisfied and committed than their partners reported being. [...]
Christopher R Agnew, Benjamin W Hadden, Kenneth Tan
2019 Timing matters in relationships. People vary in their sense of when they think the time is right to be involved in a committed relationship. We propose and examine the construct of commitment readiness and its role in predicting important relationship outcomes including commitment level, maintenance processes, and stability among involved intimates. Data from five independent samples obtained with various methods revealed, as hypothesized, that readiness (a) predicts commitment, maintenance processes, and actions toward ending a relationship; (b) serves to moderate commitment in predicting maintenance processes (self-disclosure, accommodation, sacrifice); and (c) serves to moderate commitment in predicting leave behavior, with those reporting both higher commitment and higher readiness being more likely to enact maintenance behaviors and least likely to enact leave behavior. [...]
Benjamin W Hadden, C Veronica Smith
2019 Prior research has found that global meaning in life promotes several forms of well-being such as better coping and lower stress, and suggests that meaning in life is a common experience that is shaped by daily experiences. We build on this research by testing the possibility that meaning is a basic psychological need. In Study 1, participants (N = 195) completed a 21-day diary that included daily assessments of depressive symptomology, affect, and self-esteem. In Study 2, participants (N = 142) completed a 14-day diary, adding stress and vitality as additional indicators of well-being. Across both studies, we found that meaning in life is a consistent predictor of psychological well-being. [...]
Benjamin W Hadden, Zachary G Baker, C Raymond Knee
2018 The purpose of the present research is to better understand how relationship autonomy—having more self‐determined reasons for being committed to a relationship—contributes to pro‐relationship responses to transgressions in romantic relationships (e.g., forgiveness and accommodation).
Benjamin W Hadden, C Raymond Knee
2018 The present research tested a model of relationship functioning that incorporates meaning in life (MIL), proposing that MIL plays an important role in individuals’ motivations and perceived quality of romantic relationships. Study 1 employed a weekly diary methodology (N = 121 individuals in romantic relationships) and found that both within- and between-person relationship MIL are associated with internalized motivational states (i.e. intrinsic motivation, harmonious passion) and relationship quality (i.e. satisfaction, commitment). Study 2 was a dyadic study that examined both members of romantic couples (N = 238 dyads). Results found that both one’s own and one’s partner’s MIL predict motivation and relationship quality. [...]