University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
The suffocation model states that marriage expectations in American culture have changed across time (Finkel et al., 2014). To test whether or not the tenets of this model appear in popular media, we examined the representation of love, belonging, esteem, and self-actualization needs in romantic relationships of films from the companionate era (1850-1965) and the self-expressive era (1965-present). Participants (N = 56) rated need fulfillment and expectations within the main romantic relationship in an assigned film. The results suggest that the shift in needs posited by the suffocation model was reflected in high-grossing romance films from the past 100 years. Research limitations and future directions are discussed along with the implications for the bidirectional influence of culture and film.
McNeil, Rachel and Morton, Lindsay C.
"Expectations in Film Relationships: The Suffocation Model in Motion Pictures,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 29:
1, Article 29.
Available at: https://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol29/iss1/29