Theses Doctoral

Co-creation Shared Reality: A Path to Higher-Quality Relationships and Well-Being

Pinelli, Federica

The research investigates whether the extent to which we experience co-creating a joint agreement or commonality of an inner state with others benefits our relations and psychological welfare. By leveraging shared reality theory and the concept of co-creation, we propose that higher co-creation with others increases psychological well-being, meaning in life, self-concept, and relationship quality with co-creation partners. We provide empirical support across six studies (sample size N=1532) through correlational and experimental data. First, we test people’s perception of the role played by shared reality co-creation in their lives.

Studies 1, 2, and 3 examine the association of individuals’ perception of shared reality co-creation with several interpersonal and intrapersonal variables such as relational outcomes, psychological welfare variables, engagement with their work, and commitment to their organization. We measure individuals’ perception of co-creating an agreement about relevant topics with single partners and small groups. We follow up with two five-day diary studies (Studies 4a and 4b) to show how the degree of shared reality co-creation about a relevant topic with close others is associated with fluctuating mental health and well-being outcomes.

Finally, in Study 5, we manipulate dyads’ level of decision co-creation and demonstrate how the degree to which a shared agreement is co-created with a partner impacts relational outcomes and affects individuals’ behavior towards the partner. In the investigation, we also explore the role of generalized shared reality—the commonality of thoughts with others about the world in general—in mediating co-creation effects, and present future directions and implications for potential applied applications.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Higgins, Edward Tory
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 27, 2022