But does Natasha like my books?

Despite the strong positive feelings that characterize newlyweds, many marriages end in disappointment.  To understand this shift, the authors argue that although newlyweds’ global relationship evaluations may be uniformly positive, not all spouses base their global adoration on an accurate perception of their partner’s specific qualities. Two longitudinal studies confirmed that whereas most newlyweds enhanced their partners at the level of their global perceptions, spouses varied significantly in their perceptions of their partners’ specific qualities. For wives, but not for husbands, more accurate specific perceptions were associated with their supportive behaviors, feelings of control in the marriage, and whether or not the marriage ended in divorce. Thus, love grounded in specific accuracy appears to be stronger than love absent accuracy.

Here is the paper, and thanks to Robin Hanson for the pointer.


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