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How do I see you relative to myself?: relationship quality as a predictor of self- and partner-enhancement within cross-sex friendships, dating relationships, and marriages

By Marian M. Morry, Tara C. Reich and Mie Kito


Individuals tend to rate themselves more positively than strangers or acquaintances—a self-enhancement effect. But such self-enhancement is potentially detrimental to one's intimate relationships. We hypothesized that higher relationship quality would predict (1) partner-enhancement (i.e., rating the partner more positively than the self) and (2) higher feelings of being understood and validated (FUV). In addition, (3) partner-enhancement would add to relationship quality's prediction of FUV. These hypotheses were tested among cross-sex friendships (N = 92) and dating relationships (N = 90) in University students and in a married, non-University sample (N = 94). All hypotheses were supported in romantic relationships. For cross-sex friendships, regardless of relationship quality, individuals partner-enhanced on the negative traits but neither self- nor partner-enhanced on the positive traits. Finally, relationship quality predicted partner-perceptions more strongly than self-perceptions

Topics: H Social Sciences (General), HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1080/00224540903365471
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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