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Description: What sorts of things in our personal profiles make or break our relationships? Certainly religious differences might lead to us not pursuing a relationship — whether or not the other person wants children may be another such thing. But what about brand preferences? Coke or Pepsi? Think about how differences in brand preferences across a couple in a relationship might impact the well-being of the relationship and the individuals involved. Once you have a hypothesis or two in mind (not just does it matter but how differences might play out within the relationship) than have a look at the article linked below.

Source: Coke or Pepsi? Partner’s choices can make you miserable. ScienceDaily.

Date: August 14, 2017

Photo Credit:  Shutterstock,

Links:  Article Link —

Perhaps it was not a surprise to see that differences in brand preferences can make a difference in people’s happiness in a relationship. From a research design point of view it is important to note that brand preference differences alone are not necessarily sufficient to produce impacts on well-being within a relationship. The researchers also measured relationship power as in whose preferences and decisions most often hold sway in the relationship. Being the lower power member in a relationship means you end up putting up with the brand choices or preferences (among other things) of your partner more often than not. It is the combination of these variables that seems to negatively impact ones feelings within a relationship. These sorts of linking variables or mediating or moderating variables are very important parts of research design with psychology because as I hope you already know things are rarely simple in human functioning and human interaction.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How can brand preference differences impact ones well-being in a relationship??
  2. What other variables might be useful to consider in this area of research besides relationship power?
  3. How might these findings apply in organizational settings?

References (Read Further):

Danielle J. Brick, Gráinne M. Fitzsimons, Tanya L. Chartrand, Gavan J. Fitzsimons. Coke vs. Pepsi: Brand Compatibility, Relationship Power, and Life Satisfaction. Journal of Consumer Research, 2017; DOI: 10.1093/jcr/ucx079

Hafeman, D. M. (2017). Relationship Power in Health Care: Science of Behavior Change, Decision Making, and Clinician Self-Care.

Brick, D. J., & Fitzsimons, G. J. (2017). Oppositional brand choice: Using brands to respond to relationship frustration. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 27(2), 257-263.

Gottman, J., & Gottman, J. (2017). The Natural Principles of Love. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 9(1), 7-26.