Taking stock of reality: biased perceptions of the costs of romantic partners’ sacrifices

Visserman, Mariko L, Righetti, Francesca, Muise, Amy, Impett, Emily A, Joel, Samantha and Van Lange, Paul AM (2021) Taking stock of reality: biased perceptions of the costs of romantic partners’ sacrifices. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 12 (1). pp. 54-62. ISSN 1948-5506

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When romantic partners sacrifice their own self-interest to benefit the relationship, the sacrificer or recipient may—for various reasons—be biased in how they perceive the costs that the sacrificer incurs. In Study 1, romantic couples (N = 125) rated their own and their partner’s costs after a conversation about a sacrifice in the laboratory, followed by extensive experience sampling in their natural environment. In Study 2, a preregistered experiment, individuals (N = 775) imagined a scenario in which they, their partner, or an unknown person sacrificed and rated the associated costs and benefits. Both studies demonstrated a consistent discrepancy between perceptions of own and partner sacrifice, driven primarily by people underestimating their own sacrifice costs and overestimating the benefits (Study 2). Results across studies showed that this underestimation bias helps people to feel better and feel more satisfied in the relationship when giving up their own goals and preferences for the relationship.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2023 11:42
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2023 10:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/109704

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