Interpersonal relationship mindsets and rejection sensitivity across cultures: The role of relational mobility

Nigel Mantou LOU, Man Wai LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Extending past research on implicit theories of romantic relationships into a general interpersonal relationship domain, this research examined the sociocultural causes and psychological consequences of destiny beliefs (i.e., relationships with friends, family, romantic partners, and peers are destined to succeed or fail from the beginning) and growth beliefs (i.e., successful interpersonal relationships are developed through effort). Study 1 (N = 103) showed that people who believed strongly in destiny beliefs tended to more anxiously expect social rejection. Study 2 (N = 97) further examined whether the socio-ecological environment, in particular relational mobility (i.e., the extent to which individuals have opportunities to choose and establish new relationships based on their preferences), influenced individual differences in relationship beliefs and rejection sensitivity. The results showed that Hong Kong Chinese, who perceived their society to be low in relational mobility, believed more strongly in destiny beliefs and thus, were more sensitive to social rejection compared to European Canadians, who perceived their society to be high in relational mobility. These findings are discussed in terms of the importance of socio-ecological factors in shaping relationship beliefs, which in turn function as cognitive mechanisms that underlie relationship outcomes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-206
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Early online dateDec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017



Lou, N. M., & Li, L. M. W. (2017). Interpersonal relationship mindsets and rejection sensitivity across cultures: The role of relational mobility. Personality and Individual Differences, 108, 200-206. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.12.004


  • Implicit theories of relationships
  • Relational mobility
  • Rejection sensitivity
  • Culture
  • Destiny beliefs
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Socio-ecological approach