Accuracy and bias in perceptions of emotionally supportive communication in marriage

Jennifer S. Priem, Denise Haunani Solomon, Keli Ryan Steuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


This study examined accuracy and bias within people's perceptions of a spouse's emotionally supportive behavior in the United States. Hypotheses stated that people's self-reported supportiveness, their marital satisfaction, and outside observers' ratings of their partner's support predict people's perceptions of their partner's supportiveness. Married dyads (N = 100) completed measures of marital satisfaction, engaged in a discussion about personal stressors, and rated their own and their spouse's emotional support during the interaction. Third-party observers also provided a rating of each partner's emotionally supportive behavior. For husbands and wives, perceptions of partner support were positively associated with their own supportiveness and the partner's observable supportive communication. Marital satisfaction predicted greater perception of partner support for wives, but not for husbands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-552
Number of pages22
JournalPersonal Relationships
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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