Read Receipts in Romantic Relationships

Personality, Attachment, and Trust

  • Calvin Schlosser MacEwan University


Trust is essential for fostering human interactions. It allows us to build and maintain meaningful relationships. One’s ability to trust is shown to be strongly influenced by personality traits and attachment. With the emergence of texting, as well as social media sites and the instant messaging that they afford, trust is subject to more challenges than ever before. One such challenge is the read receipt, which allows users to confirm when the person they are engaging in conversation with has seen their message. Texting is currently the preformed form of communication, yet research looking specifically at read receipts is hard to come by, if at all. This study aims to investigate how those who score high in neuroticism, as well as those with preoccupied attachment, perceive their messages being read and not responded to. We hypothesize that those high in neuroticism, and those with preoccupied attachment, will exhibit the lowest amount of trust for a romantic partner who reads their messages and does not respond when read receipts are turned on compared to when read receipts are turned off or unavailable. Methodology will rely upon vignettes and self report measures using Qualtrics with an estimated total sample size of 200. Significant findings would further develop our understanding of the effects technology has on relationships, suggest that read receipts have negative consequences on relationships, and facilitate further research on the effects of read receipts. This could contribute towards therapeutic psychological practices in areas such as couple counselling.

Discipline: Psychology (Honours)

Faculty Mentor: Sean Rogers