Michelangelo phenomenon

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The Michelangelo phenomenon is a phenomenon observed by psychologists in which interdependent individuals influence and "sculpt" each other (opposite of Blueberry phenomenon, in which interdependent individuals bring out the worst qualities in each other[citation needed]). Over time, the Michelangelo effect causes individuals to develop toward what they themselves consider as their "ideal selves".[1][2] For example, in a close relationship, "because John affirms Mary's ideals, Mary increasingly comes to resemble her ideal self".[3]

The phenomenon was named after the Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet and engineer Michelangelo (1475–1564) who is said to have thought of sculpting as a process of revealing and uncovering the figures hidden in stone. The term was introduced in 1999 by the US psychologist Stephen Michael Drigotas (et al)."[4]

The Michelangelo phenomenon is related to the looking-glass self concept introduced by Charles Horton Cooley in his 1902 work Human Nature and the Social Order,[5] and is referred to in contemporary marital therapy. Recent popular work in couples therapy and conflict resolution points to the importance of the Michelangelo phenomenon. Diana Kirschner[6] reported that the phenomenon was common among couples reporting high levels of marital satisfaction.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Drigotas, Stephen; Rusbult, Caryl; Wieselquist, Jennifer; Whitton, Sarah (1999). "Close Partner as Sculptor of the Ideal Self: Behavioral Affirmation and the Michelangelo Phenomenon". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 77 (2): 293–323. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.77.2.293. 
  2. ^ Rusbult, Caryl; Kumashiro, Madoka; Kubacka, Kaska; Finkel, Eli (2009). "'The part of me that you bring out': Ideal similarity and the Michelangelo phenomenon". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 96 (1): 61–82. doi:10.1037/a0014016. 
  3. ^ Rusbult, Caryl; Finkel, Eli; Kumashiro, Madoka (2009). "The Michelangelo Phenomenon". Current Directions in Psychological Science. 18 (6): 305–309. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8721.2009.01657.x. 
  4. ^ Drigotas, Stephen; Rusbult, Caryl; Wieselquist, Jennifer; Whitton, Sarah (1999). "Close Partner as Sculptor of the Ideal Self: Behavioral Affirmation and the Michelangelo Phenomenon". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 77 (2): 293–323. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.77.2.293. 
  5. ^ Cooley, Charles H. Human Nature and the Social Order. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, revised edition 1922.
  6. ^ Kirschner, Diana. Sealing the Deal: The Love Mentor's Guide to Lasting Love. Hachette.