Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Sinclair, H. Colleen

Committee Member

Giesen, J. Martin

Committee Member

Jacquin, Kristine M.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Experimental Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


Previous researchers have established that social networks can influence an individual’s romantic relationship. Two studies examined whether one third party’s opinion was more influential than another when multiple parties’ opinions conflict or concur. The first study was a 2 (Parent Opinion: approval, disapproval) x 2 (Friend Opinion: approval, disapproval) between-subjects factorial design experimental survey which examined how third party opinions influenced an individual’s current romantic relationship state. Analyses revealed that both friend and parent opinion had significant effects on an individual’s romantic relationship. The second study incorporated a virtual dating game in which participants received feedback about one of their interaction partners. The study employed a 2 (Parent Opinion: good match, bad match) x 2 (Friend Opinion: good match, bad match) x 2 (Interaction Partner: Target, Control – within-subjects) mixed factorial design. Friend opinion emerged as playing an important role in individuals’ perceptions and choices of a potential romantic partner.