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J Soc Psychol. 2010 Jul-Aug;150(4):369-92. doi: 10.1080/00224540903365471.

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.

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Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, P508 Duff Roblin, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


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 selfperceptions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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