Odd bedfellows: self- and partner-enhancement in the communication of commitment

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Weigel, Daniel J.
Ballard-Reisch, Deborah
Davis, Bret A.

Daniel J. Weigel, Deborah S. Ballard-Reisch & Bret A. Davis (2019) Odd Bedfellows: Self- and Partner-Enhancement in the Communication of Commitment, Western Journal of Communication


This research examined self- and partner-enhancement biases in the everyday communication of commitment. A total of 189 romantic heterosexual couples completed a survey measuring self- and partner-reports of the communication of commitment. Women self-enhanced in their perceptions of their partner’s attempts at communicating commitment, while men partner-enhanced. Further, women’s self-enhancement and men’s partner-enhancement resulted in their perceptions of each other’s expressions of commitment being more closely aligned than self-reported expressions of commitment. Taken together, rather than being a detriment, bias in the everyday communication of commitment is an important aspect of how couples sustain commitment in their relationships.

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