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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02399

Pair-bonding as Inclusion of Other in the Self: A literature review

 Brittany Branand1*, Debra Mashek2 and  Arthur Aron3
  • 1NORC at the University of Chicago, United States
  • 2Heterodox Academy, United States
  • 3Stony Brook University, United States

This article surveys scholarship on the self-expansion model principle of inclusion of other in the self (IOS) as it relates to long-term pair-bonding (i.e., enduring adult romantic monogamous relationships). First, we introduce the concept of IOS and then provide a brief overview of prior research. We then review compelling extensions and findings related to a variety of relational concepts such as perspective taking (Bernstein, Laurent, Nelson, & Laurent, 2015), social comparison (Thai & Lockwood, 2015), self-determination (Weinstein, Rodriguez, Knee, & Kumashiro, 2016), humor (Treger, Sprecher, & Erber, 2013), and pain contagion (Martire, Keefe, Schulz, Stephens, & Mogle, 2013). Next, we explore two recent theoretical directions of the principle—the two-dimensional model of relational self-change (McIntyre, Mattingly, & Lewandowski, 2015) and the perceived inclusion of the other in the self (IOS-perceived) construct (Tomlinson & Aron, 2013). Considering these findings and their relation to pair-bonding, we propose important future directions of the IOS principle of the self-expansion model.

Keywords: Pair-bonding, Self-expansion model, Inclusion of Other in the Self, closeness, relationships

Received: 19 Jul 2019; Accepted: 08 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Branand, Mashek and Aron. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Brittany Branand, NORC at the University of Chicago, Chicago, United States,