Enemyship occurs across societies, but it has not received as much attention as other types of relationships such as friendship in previous research. This research examined the influence of relational mobility on people's motivation to understand their personal enemies by measuring different dependent variables across three studies. First, a cross‐cultural comparison study found that Hong Kong Chinese, from a low‐relational‐mobility society, reported a stronger desire to seek proximity to enemies relative to European Canadians, from a high‐relational‐mobility society (Study 1). To test causality, two manipulation studies were conducted. Participants were presented with images of co‐workers, including enemies, friends, and acquaintances, in a hypothetical company. The results showed that the participants who perceived lower relational mobility paid more attention to their enemies in an eye‐tracking task (Study 2) and had a higher accuracy rate for recognizing the faces of the enemies in an incidental memory test (Study 3). In contrast, the influence of relational mobility on motivation to understand friends and acquaintances was minimal. Implications for research on interpersonal relationships and relational mobility are discussed. Copyright © 2017 The British Psychological Society.
|Journal||British Journal of Social Psychology|
|Early online date||Aug 2017|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|